What happens to CE marking after Brexit?

The CE mark is a European mark, derived from the French phrase “Conformité Européene” (European Conformity).  It was introduced as a mark to show that producers had checked their products for compliance with applicable European legislation, and allowed that product free passage in terms of its compliance throughout the single market.  The mark applies to a whole host of product categories, including toys (so books with play value are in scope), but also PPE and some electrical products.

Now that the UK is clear on when it will leave the EU, although not at all clear on what terms, the question of what happens to CE marking post Brexit is upon us!

The UKCA mark

The UK will have a new product marking called the UKCA mark which stands for UK Conformity Assessed.  The mark will be phased in from 1st January 2021 to replace the CE mark in the UK.   It will be a mandatory mark to indicate that the product conforms to UK legislation.  Here’s how it will work :

UKCA Guidance
  • All goods placed on the market in England, Wales and Scotland after 1st January 2021 which previously required the CE mark, should carry the new UKCA mark. This includes UK co-editions that might originate in Europe or the US. Existing stock which is offered for sale before 1st Jan 2021 is not affected.

  • The UKCA marking should be used from 1 January 2021, although there is an adjustment period of 12 months during which time you will still be able to use the CE mark.  Nevertheless you are encouraged to get ready to switch as soon as possible.

  • If you are selling goods in the EU you must ensure your products include an EU address for purposes of traceability and, as the UKCA mark is not recognised in the EU, goods in scope will still require the CE mark.    It is envisaged that publishers will want to use both marks to cover themselves for both UK and Europe.

  • The UKCA mark will not be recognised in Northern Ireland, so goods in scope being offered for sale in Northern Ireland will require the CE mark, or the UKNI mark

  • The Declaration of Conformity for the UK will be made against the UK Toy Safety Regulations 2011, SI 1881.   You should amend your existing template to reflect that.

  • As far as testing is concerned, there will be no change – you should ask for tests to the UK Regulations as well as the EU Toy Safety Directive – at the moment they are exactly the same, except for the markings.

Are there are rules about size & placement?

You must make sure that:

  • if you reduce or enlarge the size of your marking, the letters forming the UKCA marking must be kept in proportion to the version above

  • the mark should be at least 5mm in height

  • the mark is easily visible and legible

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