13 September, 2021
It has been announced that UK firms will have an additional year to apply new post-Brexit product safety marking rules.
While many firms have been using the new UK conformity assessed (UKCA) markings since 1 January 2021, companies had previously faced a 1 January 2022 deadline to switch from Europe's CE mark to the UKCA mark. However, for most products this date will be pushed back to early 2023.
For many the extension will come as a great relief. The current climate has presented businesses with numerous practical issues, not just additional costs and administrative burdens, when attempting to apply the new post Brexit safety standards to their products. The easement will enable firms to plan accordingly, as they now have 18 months to identify any issues which might be faced when CE marked goods are phased out.
Additionally, the easement will enable action to be taken to increase the current testing capacity and ensure that goods currently CE marked can be retested and reach the market efficiently. A further move which should prevent the roll out of the UKCA mark impacting on the supply chain.
The easement on the adoption of the UKCA mark will provide UK business with some well received breathing space. The dual pressures of Brexit and COVID has tested the resilience of many UK firms. However, providing firms with a short respite will, hopefully, enable them to meet the challenge head on particularly the potentially issues which duplicated marking and testing may present.
Companies, particularly manufacturers and suppliers, may also wish to use the extended period to the review any contractual terms which impose requirements on goods being supplied with requisite certifications and / or markings. The extended transition period may provide an opportunity amend any terms in advance of 2023.
The move does not, however, rectify the potential issues likely to be faced in complex supply chains such as the automotive industry. Businesses in these sectors should consider using the extension to examine how they might integrate duplicate marking and testing protocols into their processes without impacting on output.
The Commercial department at Forbes Solicitors can provide companies with assistance navigating this ever-changing regulatory framework. If you have any questions regarding the impact of this introduction of the UKCA mark please contact John Pickervance in our Commercial department via email at John Pickervance or phone on 0333 207 1134.