The UK government has announced it will introduce new legislation to allow for digital labelling of imports to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses.

Digital labelling will allow businesses to put all relevant regulatory or manufacturing information online, rather than having to print it on products, thus saving time and money.

The move follows the Product Safety Review consultation, an extensive business engagement exercise which sought the opinion of leading industry trade bodies and individual businesses on ways to cut costs, while benefitting consumers and ensuring the regulatory system remains agile. Industry had been consistently calling for digital labelling as part of that consultation.

The voluntary option to use digital labelling means businesses will be able to apply the UKCA marking, manufacturer details and importer details digitally.

More categories to keep using CE mark

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) also confirmed it would extend the indefinite use of the EU’s CE mark to a further three product categories, having last summer announced it would extend its use within the UK indefinitely for the 18 categories under its remit.

Following feedback from industry, DBT is continuing CE recognition for eco-design, civil explosives and, in most circumstances, restriction of hazardous substances (in electrical equipment).

The new rules do not cover medical devices, construction products, marine equipment, rail products, cableways, transportable pressure equipment or drones. The full list of regulations covered by the announcement can be found here.

On the fast track

DBT has also announced a new fast-track provision to allow manufacturers to place products on the GB market if they meet the EU essential requirements and have been conformity assessed by an EU-recognised body.

Manufacturers will need to use the UKCA marking and draw up a UK declaration of conformity, listing compliance with the relevant EU legislation. This means that where products fall within multiple regulations, a mixture of both UKCA and CE conformity assessment procedures can be used.

The aim is to provide businesses with certainty over the long term should the UK mandate UKCA for some product categories in the future.

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