Legal update: Government guidance on goods distribution from CE marking to UKCA marking

Please Note: All information was correct at time of writing on 30 October 2020. We do our very best to make sure our information is as up to date as possible, but we’d encourage you to check out our latest articles and to check the government website for updates as they happen.


From 1 January 2021, the UK will no longer be in the EU and goods distributed in Great Britain, GB (England, Wales and Scotland) which previously required the CE Marking will require the UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking.

It’s important to be aware of government guidance which informs of changing obligations from 1 January 2021 if you manufacture, distribute or import products for placing on the market in Great Britain. The full guidance can be found here.

In Northern Ireland, goods placed on the market will require the CE marking or UK(NI) marking under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Users of CE marked products should be aware that from 1 January 2021, CE marked products can continue to be used however certain products purchased after 1 January 2021 will be UKCA marked, some products may be both CE and UKCA marked (during the transition period) and from 1 January 2022, the CE mark will no longer be recognised for products placed on the UK market.


How it Applies

UKCA marking can be used from 1 January 2021. However, to allow businesses time to adjust to the new requirements, the CE mark can continue to be used until 1 January 2022 in most cases. After this transition period, the CE will not be recognised in Great Britain.

Manufacturers, distributors, and importers will need to use the new UKCA marking immediately after 1 January 2021 if all the following apply. The product:

  • is for the market in Great Britain
  • is covered by legislation which requires the UKCA marking
  • requires mandatory third-party conformity assessment
  • conformity assessment has been carried out by a UK conformity assessment body and you haven’t transferred your conformity assessment files from your UK body to an EU recognised body before 1 January 2021

During the transition period, 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021 if the EU changes its product laws and the UK does not follow, it would no longer be possible to use the CE marking in the UK.  Businesses should be ready to use the UKCA marking as soon as possible before the transition period.

This does not apply to existing stock if manufactured and ready to place on the market before 1 January 2021.


Citation can help at every step of the way

Our Health & Safety experts are at hand with our 24/7 advice line. If you want their help, guidance and support on the impact the introduction of the UKCA may have on your business, you can call them on 0345 844 4848.

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