The new UKCA certification and its rules are still a frequent subject of questions from EU manufacturers who want to export to the UK market. The following article discusses the current measures of the UK government, which aim to simplify the import of products from the EU.
Through the Directorate General (DG) of the European Commission (for Internal market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs), and with a further initiative of the Czech Department of State Testing within the Office for Standards, Metrology and Testing (UNMZ), we were informed about the new measures of the United Kingdom (UK), which are aimed at companies considering entering the British market, where specific "UKCA" certification will apply from January 2023 (United Kingdom Conformity Assessment).
The "UKCA" marking, i.e. UK Conformity Assessed, is a conformity mark which indicates compliance with the applicable requirements for products sold in Great Britain (GB).
In essence, these political measures and related legislative and sectoral adjustments represent concrete concessions to the originally strictly implemented conditions for the introduction of products from countries outside the UK.
The adopted measures should reduce re-testing costs for UKCA certification, by allowing conformity assessment activities for CE marking completed by the 31 December 2022 to be used by manufactures as the basis for UKCA marking.
This should also lead to a reduction of the immediate costs faced by manufacturers. And this is something that deserves to be praised.
The measures adopted will allow the use of the CE certification mentioned above until the expiry of the certificate or for 5 years (31 December 2027), whichever is sooner.
They will make clear there is no need to re-test existing imported stock, as these products will be considered already placed on the market in Great Britain (GB). This will prevent the costly, and unnecessary re-labelling of existing stock for businesses.
They will also ensure that spare parts that repair, replace or maintain goods already on the GB market can meet the same requirements that were in place at the time the original product or system was placed on the GB market. This will allow products and goods requiring spare parts to continue to be maintained.
The above-mentioned measures adopted will continue to allow businesses to affix the UKCA marking, and to include importer information for products from EEA countries (and in some cases Switzerland), on an accompanying document or label until 31 December 2025. This will allow business to adjust their product design to accommodate marking changes at a convenient and cost-effective time.
It should be noted and made clear that these changes do not apply to medical devices, construction products, cableways, unmanned aircraft systems, transportable pressure equipment, rail products and marine equipment. Departments responsible for these sectors are making sector specific arrangements.
In conclusion, we would like to add that there is still the possibility of completing the already started preparation for obtaining the UKCA mark for some of the companies directly from the beginning. This route is naturally a bit more expensive, however, this sort of proactive approach and ensuring of the certification according to the UKCA rules will already now give Czech companies, among other things, respect and will undoubtedly bring them an all-important competitive advantage for the future.
SZU leaves the decision on which path the companies will take solely up to them. Our company remains ready in cooperation with our British partner – i.e. a recognized certification body within UKAS – to assist all those who do not want to remain inactive, but - on the contrary –, to start with their committed approach right now and achieve sharp certification according to the UKCA rules today!
In Brno, on 1 August 2022
Foreign Cooperation Manager