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We have received points of clarification around the overlap period for the CE and UKCA mark that apply particularly to importers of goods.  In general terms, the CE mark and the requirements of the distributor/importer are separate issues and the waiver applied to whether the UKCA just needs to be physically on the product/packaging or with accompanying documentation applies for 2021 and, in a different way, through 2022.

However, the importer requirements do apply straight away i.e. from 1st January 2021.  But if there is a need for a new (UK) address, then it can go on an accompanying document rather than having to be on the product or its packaging, whether or not a good is self-assessed or third party assessed.  That waiver lasts for 2 years in parallel with the notes about the mark itself.

In summary (from the main guidance on EU imports), UK distributors and suppliers will need to confirm whether you or your supplier will become an ‘importer’ after 1 January 2021.  You’ll become an importer if you’re the one bringing goods into the UK from outside the UK and placing them on the market in Great Britain (different arrangements may or may not apply for Northern Ireland).  You’ll need to make sure that:

  • goods are labelled with your company’s details, including your company’s name and a contact address (until 31st December 2022 you can provide these details on the accompanying documentation rather than on the good itself);
  • the correct conformity assessment procedures have been carried out and that goods have the correct conformity markings;
  • the manufacturer has drawn up the correct technical documentation and complied with their labelling requirements;
  • you maintain a copy of the declaration of conformity for a period of 10 years;
  • goods conform with the relevant essential requirements.