Effective from 1st January 2021, the UK government implemented its own Conformity Assessed (UKCA) Marking scheme for products to be placed on the GB (England, Scotland & Wales) market. The arrangements for Northern Ireland are different and are explained below.
To facilitate the above, UKAS accredits conformity assessment bodies (CABs) to enable them to be appointed as Approved Bodies in accordance with the relevant UK legislation. Full information can be found in UKAS Publications GEN 5 – Accreditation for the Purposes of Appointment as an Approved Body under the UKCA System and a summary is provided below;
Please Note: the term ‘UKCA Mark’ is used to describe any product conformity marking required to place goods on the GB market. Similarly, the term ‘Approved Body’ includes other categories of appointment such as Designated Body, Technical Assessment Body (TAB) and Recognised Third-Party Organisation (RTPO).
Arrangements for Northern Ireland
Under the Northern Ireland protocol NI continues to abide by EU Directives relating to placing certain products on the NI market. As a consequence, NI continues to recognise the CE Mark but does not recognise the UKCA Mark.
For producers and importers wishing to place goods on the NI market they have two options for attaining the CE Mark, either through (a) conformity assessment activities undertaken by a Notified Body from one of the EU Member States, or (b) conformity assessment activities undertaken by a UK-based Notified Body.
If the second option is followed, then the product must be marked with a UKNI Mark in addition to the CE Mark denoting that the conformity assessment activities were undertaken within the UK. Products bearing the combined CE UKNI Marks shall not be accepted on the EU market.
Accreditation in the UK following our exit from the European Union
Following the outcome of the UK referendum on EU membership in 2016, the United Kingdom left the EU on 31st January 2020 although the impact of this could only start to be realised with the conclusion of the EU Exit transition period on 31st December 2020.
During the intervening period UKAS worked closely with Government departments in a number of areas to ensure that the impact on accreditation and conformity assessment within the UK were fully considered. Although there is still work to be done to fully understand how our new relationship with the European Union will operate, there are a number of important points that are now clear, and which are covered here.
Are you an existing UK Approved Body wishing to extend your scope?
UK Approved Bodies can extend the scope of accredited activities they offer to customers at any time, this may include;
- The addition of a new assessment activity (e.g. product or management system certification, inspection or testing)
- Addition of a new Regulation
- The addition of a new location/site
To extend your scope please contact your assessment manager at the earliest opportunity to make them aware of your intentions or complete the application form.
Are you a non-UK Notified Body interested in approving products for the Great Britain market?
Non-UK Notified Bodies (i.e. those that are established within an EU Member State and which are listed on the EU NANDO database) that are interested in being appointed as an Approved Body to undertake conformity assessment activities for the purposes of placing goods on the GB market are required to:
- be established under UK law and have legal personality.
Established means that there must be an active UK registered office for which the key technical policies and decisions are made. It is not necessarily expected that the technical management is physically based at the UK office, but it must be part of the UK structure for decision making purposes. It is recognised that the actual conformity assessment activities can take place outside of the UK, but they shall be under the direct managerial and technical control of the registered UK entity.
- hold the appropriate accreditation from the UK’s National Accreditation Body, i.e. UKAS.
- be appointed by the appropriate UK Competent Authority for the Regulation of interest (See Appendix 1 of UKAS publication GEN 5 for details).
Are you looking to become an Approved Body for the first time?
To become an Approved Body you must be appointed by a UK Competent Authority (BEIS OPSS, DfT, MCA, MHCLG – See Appendix 1 of UKAS publication GEN 5 for details) to undertake conformity assessment activities for the purposes of UKCA marking of products to be placed on the GB market. You must also achieve UKAS accreditation for the relevant standard.
If you are outside of the UK you will need to establish a UK entity, please see section 2 above.
Are you looking for advice in placing your product on the GB or NI Market?
Such advice is outside the remit of UKAS, whose role is to determine the technical competence of conformity assessment bodies. However, the government website provides guidance to producers and importers on placing products on the GB and NI markets:
Are you looking for a UK Approved Body to perform conformity assessment activities on your product?
The government has set up a website that lists all UK Approved Bodies and UK Notified Bodies (for NI), the UK Market Conformity Assessment Bodies (UKMCAB) database, which is maintained by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Alternatively, the accredited scope of UK Approved Bodies can be found on the UKAS website: https://www.ukas.com/find-an-organisation/
The below list is the current UK legislation for specific goods:
- Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011
- Recreational Craft Regulations 2017
- Simple Pressure Vessels (Safety) Regulations 2016
- Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2016
- Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016
- Non-automatic Weighing Instruments Regulations 2016
- Measuring Instruments Regulations 2016
- Lifts Regulations 2016
- Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2016
- Radio Equipment Regulations 2017
- Pressure Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016
- Regulation 2016/425 on personal protective equipment as brought into UK law and amended
- Regulation 2016/426 on gas appliances as brought into UK law and amended
- Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008
- Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for use Outdoors Regulations 2001
- The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products Regulations 2010
- Energy Labelling Regulation (EU) 2017/1369 (as retained in UK law and amended)
- The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012
- The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015