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Recognition of EU conformity markings extended until end of 2024

21 November 2022

In a move to reduce regulatory burden for businesses, the UK government has announced that it is extending the recognition of CE and reversed epsilon marking until the end of 2024. 

Extending recognition of CE and reversed epsilon marking

Following a recent trend across a range of product categories including cosmetics and food, the UK government laid legislation before Parliament (see here) that sees the continued recognition EU positions, this time of CE and reversed epsilon marking, for many goods being placed on the market or put into service in Great Britain, until 31 December 2024.  

The extension allows businesses to use either UKCA markings or CE markings for another two years, instead of mandating the use of UKCA markings from 1 January 2023 as previously planned. The extension is intended to provide businesses with greater flexibility and reduce burden at a time of challenging economic conditions created by rising energy prices and post-pandemic shifts in demand and supply. 

Reducing the costs of relabelling and retesting

The legislation also includes measures to reduce the costs of relabelling and retesting products. Businesses will be allowed to affix UKCA marking and include importer information for products from EEA countries (and in some cases, Switzerland) on an accompanying document or label until 31 December 2027. Manufacturers will be allowed to use conformity assessment activities for CE marking, undertaken by 31 December 2024, as the basis for UKCA marking until the expiry of the certificate or 31 December 2027, whichever is sooner. 

Specialist products

There will be different rules for medical devices, construction products, cableways, transportable pressure equipment, unmanned aircraft systems, rail products, and marine equipment. Government departments responsible for these sectors are making sector-specific arrangements.

The position in Northern Ireland

Under the terms of the Protocol (see our previous article about the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill), Northern Ireland will continue to recognise CE marking for goods placed on the market in Northern Ireland. Businesses will need to use the UKNI marking if they use a UK Conformity Assessment Body to test their products.

What's next?

The draft legislation will be undergoing the necessary scrutiny from the House of Commons and House of Lords in the coming weeks and is due to come into force on 31 December 2022. In parallel, the government is also considering how it could reduce costs and burdens associated with the UK regulatory framework in the longer term, including opportunities under the Product Safety Review. More details are expected in the coming weeks. 

For advice on conformity markings and how the upcoming changes will affect your business, please get in touch with one of our experts below.

Written by Dominic Watkins, Anne-Marie Taylor and Abigail Reay 

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