Operate after Brexit

Conformity assessment process and labelling

Conformity assessment process and product labelling

The bottom line for Scottish businesses is that even though a deal is now agreed, goods will be subject to separate regulation in the UK and the EU. This means that businesses need to produce goods to two different requirements with separate markings for each product.

  • UKCA for the UK market
  • CE for the EU market

How will this affect businesses?

The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking is a new UK product conformity marking that will be used for most of those industrial goods being placed on the GB market (England, Scotland or Wales) which have, up until 31st December 2020, required the CE marking. Goods being placed on the Northern Irish market will require the CE mark. Where mandatory third party testing or certification is undertaken by a UK-based body, the goods will also require the UKNI marking for goods placed on the Northern Irish market.

For more information on UKNI marking go to our trade with Northern Ireland page

Businesses placing goods on the EU market should continue to use the CE marking.

Manufacturers have been given a year’s grace period to continue following the current rules for placing goods on the GB market, if they choose to.

However, all businesses are strongly encouraged to be ready for full implementation of the new UK regime as soon as possible after 1st January 2021 as businesses can only place CE marked goods on the GB market whilst the UK and EU requirements are the same. If UK rules diverge from EU regulations, or the EU changes their rules, businesses who CE mark their goods based on EU rules will no longer be able to use the CE marking in the UK and will need to use the UKCA marking, even if this happens before 1 January 2022.

For placing goods on the EU market you need to check if any changes are required. If you were previously exporting to the EU before 1 January 2021, you will not need to change your conformity assessment for exports to the EU if:

  • You self-declare the conformity of your good against the regulations
  • Any mandatory third-party conformity assessment was carried out by an EU-recognised notified body (whether based in the EU or in a country with which the EU has a mutual recognition agreement)
  • The certificate of conformity previously held by a UK body has been transferred to an EU-recognised notified body
  • You voluntarily use a testing body (including UK bodies) to test against European or international standards

UK conformity assessment bodies cannot carry out mandatory conformity assessment for products being placed on the EU market and the UKCA mark will be not recognised on the EU market. Therefore, exporters to the EU need to ensure that any mandatory conformity assessment is carried out by an EU-recognised conformity assessment body.

It is important that you check whether your UK notified body has arrangements in place to help you get certification for the EU market. This means you can export to the EU without needing to find a new EU notified body yourself.

If not, you need to either:

  • Get your products assessed by an EU notified body
  • Arrange for information held by your existing notified body to be transferred to an EU notified body so they can issue you a new certificate

If you self-declare the conformity of your goods against the regulations you can continue to do so, however your EU based distributor will become an ‘importer’ from 1 January 2021. The importer will need to make sure:

  • Goods are labelled with their address and either your details or your EU, EEA or Norther Ireland-based authorised representative’s details (including your company’s name and a contact address or registered trademark)
  • The correct conformity assessment procedures have been carried out and that goods have the correct conformity markings
  • You, as the manufacturer, have drawn up the correct technical documentation and complied with the labelling requirements
  • They maintain a copy of the declaration of conformity for a period of 10 years after the goods they import have been placed on the market
  • Goods conform with the relevant essential requirements

For further information on certificates and documentation, your legal responsibilities and how to appoint an authorised representative, please visit GOV.UK.

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