The Government has announced it will continue to recognise the CE mark indefinitely for a range of product regulations this spring. This will mean businesses have the flexibility to use either the UKCA or CE marking to sell products in Great Britain.
A new fast-track provision will also allow manufacturers to place products on the GB market where they meet the EU essential requirements and, where required, have been conformity assessed by an EU recognised conformity assessment body.
Continued recognition of current EU requirements, including the CE and reversed epsilon markings, will apply to 21 product regulations, including the 18 product regulations owned by the Department of Business and Trade, previously announced on 1 August 2023.
Following feedback from industry, recognition for a further three regulations covering ecodesign, civil explosives and, in most circumstances, restriction of hazardous substances (in electrical equipment) will also continue.
The announcement does not apply to regulations for medical devices, construction products, marine equipment, rail products, cableways, transportable pressure equipment and unmanned aircraft systems regulations. There are specific arrangements in place for these sectors.
British Chambers of Commerce Head of Trade Policy, William Bain, said: “Business will welcome this common-sense approach to showing that products sold in Great Britain have met safety, health and environmental rules. Crucially, it will help keep costs down for firms and prices for consumers.
“These new policies take us further down the road to providing business with the stability and confidence to make investments in long-term arrangements for testing and marking of these goods.
“Firms will be particularly pleased that the Ecodesign Regulations will now be able to permanently use CE marking, and that legislation underpinning these announcements is due to be in place by the Spring.
“But there are still some issues which need to be addressed. We need speedy decisions from Government on widening this policy out to construction products from 2025 onwards.
“Conformity assessment bodies in the UK would also greatly benefit from being approved to test to CE standards and requirements. So, it’s vital the Government negotiates a mutual recognition agreement with the EU, to rebuild testing capacity in Great Britain.”
More information on the Government’s planned changes can be found here.