This week, the Department for Business & Trade (DBT) announced that it will bring forward legislation to extend indefinitely the recognition of the CE mark on the market in Great Britain on a wide range of goods which are the responsibility of DBT. Note that Northern Ireland retains the use of the CE mark under the Brexit Protocol, so this announcement has no effect there.
The goods covered include all types of machinery, including machine tools, measuring instruments and low-voltage electrical equipment but not medical devices or construction products as the latter are covered by other government departments.
Although this means that the UKCA mark won’t be required (but it is not being abolished – see below), the Government is going ahead with a series of Roundtable events about the UKCA mark around the country; there is availability at events in London on 14th August, Darlington on 15th August, Southampton on 16th August, Edinburgh on 17th August and Manchester on 22nd August – you can access these via this link: https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=BXCsy8EC60O0l-ZJLRst2A7uAp5srk9HsvYmk5espulURERTWjg5S1IySldNM01IOUtJVjAxRjlPTSQlQCN0PWcu&web=1&wdLOR=cA3A2738B-B87F-407F-83FC-5ADCAB6EF0FC.
However, the UKCA mark is not being stopped, so there are significant risks around future divergence. What happens, for example if the UK introduces different regulations for the UKCA mark to those required for the CE mark or, perhaps more likely, the EU changes something on the CE mark (the revisions to the Machinery Directive look to be the most immediate concern) and the UK does not adopt parallel changes for the UKCA mark?
Related to this topic is a product safety consultation that we understand is imminent; this is related to the work of the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) and where this fits in the context of divergence from the EU. A live issue here is the topic of overseas e-shops; the EU has regulated this area but the UK chose not to and we have recently seen a product recall notice issued by the OPSS for a range of items from the Chinese e-store Vevor. There is more on both of these topics in the attached paper from EAMA. This includes the announcement from DBT, discussion of the implications of these changes and various useful links on product marking and safety.