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CE and UKCA Mark Transition – Industry Reactions

CE and UKCA Mark Transition – Industry Reactions
08 August 2023 | Updated 10 August 2023
 

The government has confirmed the indefinite extension of the use of CE marking for UK businesses, but some are calling for extra clarity.

 

What is the Background on the CE and UKCA Mark?

 

The CE (Conformité Européenne) mark is used across Europe to certify that products meet safety standards. As a member of the European Union, the UK had adopted its use for products, such as PPE, sold both within the UK and throughout Europe. After Brexit, the government had made plans to gradually phase out the CE mark, and replace it with a new UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) mark for all goods sold in Great Britain.

However several businesses took issue with this change, warning that ambiguity on the certification process could impact products’ safety for the public. With the UKCA mark not being recognised in the EU, and only required for goods being sold in Great Britain, manufacturers would need to adopt both protocols for products destined for both marketplaces. This would have also been the case for all overseas manufacturers wishing to sell products in the UK.

This led to the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) confirming that it would indefinitely extend the use of CE marking for businesses on 1 August 2023.

 

“The spin on the announcement was, as one would expect, around support for business and reducing red tape. This claim of 'support' is hollow!" 

–Alan Murray

CEO, The British Safety Industry Federation 

 

British Safety Industry Federation Says Announcement was “Hollow”

 

Alan Murray, The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) CEO, feels that the government’s comments that the extension is “designed to ease business burdens and help grow the economy by cutting barriers and red tape” were disingenuous:

“The spin on the announcement was, as one would expect, around support for business and reducing red tape. This claim of 'support' is hollow! 

"It is something that should have been done three years ago, avoiding the excessive financial investment in UKCA compliance by BSIF members and also the very significant costs for Approved Bodies setting up and establishing themselves in the UK in order to be able to give product approval decisions under the now, at best, side-lined UKCA regime.” 

 

Image

Picture: a photograph of Alan Murray. Image Credit: BSIF

 

Pump Sector Welcomes Announcement on CE Marking

 

The British Pump Manufacturers Association (BPMA), which works on behalf of the £1.9 billion UK pump sector has long objected to the phase-out of the CE mark.

Wayne Rose, Director and CEO at the BPMA said “Some of our larger members have already endured the unwelcomed expense and bureaucracy of dual safety mark adoption, simply to continue selling the same products to the same markets, so although they too will welcome this announcement, a good deal of wasted time, effort and cost has already been spent.

“For our smaller members, they will be relieved that the cliff-edge deadline of UKCA mark adoption has been removed, and that they can now redirect their efforts into product innovation and business growth.

 

Engineering Services Alliance Wants Clarity on Construction Products

 

Actuate UK, an alliance of six professional bodies from across the UK engineering services sector, is calling for clarity on the use of the CE mark on construction products.

While the DBT includes some products used by the engineering services, such as lifts, most of the construction products come under the scope of the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC), which has currently extended the use of CE Mark till 30 June 2025.

Chris Yates, CEO of Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA), one of the Actuate UK members commented on the situation: “While the DBT announcement will be a huge relief for many manufacturers, the questions remain on construction products. The industry has already made significant investment to make the move to UKCA and manufacturers had to decide which construction products to put on the market based on approval costs.

"We need DLUHC to decide whether they will follow the DBT announcement and lift the deadline of 30 June 2025 while getting more clarity on further proposed changes in construction product testing regulations.”

Picture: a heap of small tiles piled up that all show The CE (Conformité Européenne) logo. Image Credit: Adobe Stock

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 08 August 2023

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