UKCA and the new regulatory regime
Find out more about the UKCA marking and the new regulatory regime by attending one of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's upcoming webinars, the webinars can be booked here.
What is the UKCA?
The UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark is a mandatory mark on certain products, for example mobile phones, to indicate that they conform to Great Britain legislation. Businesses have until 1 January 2023 to start using UKCA marking which replaces the CE and reverse epsilon markings now that we have left the European Union.
The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking is a new UK product marking that is used for goods being placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). It covers most goods which previously required the CE marking, known as ‘new approach’ goods.
The marking allows the UK to have control over its goods regulations and maintain our high product standards.
When will I need to use it?
From 1 January 2023, all products placed on the GB market will require UKCA marking. CE marking in the EU will continue unchanged. The UKCA mark is not recognised in Northern Ireland, so products sold there will need to be either CE marked or UK(NI) marked.
The UKCA marking came into effect on 1 January 2021. However, to allow businesses time to adjust to the new requirements, you will still be able to use the CE marking until 1 January 2023 in most cases. The UKCA marking applies to most goods previously subject to the CE marking. It also applies to aerosol products that previously required the ‘reverse epsilon’ marking.
- Products placed on the GB market: UKCA (CE allowed until the end of 2022 for some goods, except those outlined above)
- Products placed on the EU market: CE
- Products placed on the NI market: CE (if using an EU-based assessment body) or CE and UKNI (if using a UK-based body).
Selling goods in Great Britain
The UKCA marking applies to most goods previously subject to the CE marking. It also applies to aerosol products that previously required the ‘reverse epsilon’ marking.
The technical requirements (‘essential requirements’) you must meet – and the conformity assessment processes and standards that can be used to demonstrate conformity – are largely the same as they were for the CE marking.
Any conformity assessment activities undertaken by EU bodies before the end of 2022 will be considered as the basis for UKCA marking next year. Legislation on this will be brought forward before the end of the year and will enable manufacturers to apply the UKCA mark on these products without the need for re-testing.
The circumstances in which you can use self-declaration of conformity for UKCA marking are the same as for CE marking. If you were able to self-declare conformity for the CE marking, you will be able to do the same for the UKCA marking.
The CE marking is only valid in Great Britain for areas where GB and EU rules remain the same. If the EU changes its rules and you CE mark your product on the basis of those new rules you will not be able to use the CE marking to sell in Great Britain, even before 31 December 2022.
Check whether you will need to use the UKCA marking by reading the guidance on placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain.
The government will introduce legislation so that the UKCA marking can be placed on a label affixed to the product or on a document accompanying the product until 31 December 2025. This will apply for most goods requiring UKCA marking. There will be different rules for:
- medical devices
- construction products
- unmanned aircraft systems
- marine equipment
- transportable pressure equipment
- rail products
|Type of good||Accepted markings or combination of markings|
|Manufactured goods being placed on the GB market until the end of 2022||UKCA or CE|
|Manufactured goods placed on the GB market from 1 January 2023||UKCA|
You only need to use the new UKCA marking before 1 January 2023 if all of the following apply. Your product:
- 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
This does not apply to existing stock. For example, if your good was fully manufactured, CE marked and ready to place on the market before 1 January 2021. In these cases, the UK recognised conformity assessment body that assessed the goods was considered capable of conformity assessing to EU requirements. These goods can still be sold in Great Britain with a CE marking but will need to be placed on the GB market before 1 January 2023. After that time, you will need to use the UKCA marking.
Selling goods in the EU
The UKCA marking is not recognised on the EU market. Products need a CE marking for sale in the EU. Find out how to use the CE marking.
Importing goods from the EU
CE marked products that are manufactured and imported into the UK by the end of 2022 to be sold, without the need to meet UKCA requirements. This will remove the current need for retesting and recertification for products that are imported whilst the UK recognised CE requirements.
The UK will continue to accept spares onto the GB market which comply with the same requirements that were in place at the time the original products or systems they were being used to repair, replace or maintain were placed on the market. This will help to address concerns about the availability of spare parts and ensure businesses and organisations avoid disruption to their operations.
To make it cheaper and logistically easier for businesses to continue to supply goods to Great Britain, legislation will be brought forward to extend current labelling easements to allow important information and other UKCA markings to be added to products using a sticky label or an accompanying document.
UK distributors and suppliers
You’ll need to confirm whether you or your supplier will act as an ‘importer’.
You’re an importer if you’re the first one bringing goods from outside the UK and placing them on the market in Great Britain. If someone has already placed a good on the UK market before you sell it in Great Britain you will remain a distributor and will not have any additional responsibilities.
As an importer, you’ll need to make sure that:
- goods are labelled with your company’s details, including your company’s name and a contact address. The government will introduce legislation so that the importer details can be provided via a sticky label or on an accompanying documentation rather than on the good itself if you import certain goods from the EEA (and in some cases Switzerland). After 31 December 2025, your details must be affixed to the product or, in circumstances where the legislation allows, on the packaging or an accompanying document
- 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
You must comply with the above for goods placed on the GB market regardless of whether they are CE or UKCA marked.
CE marking for both the GB and EU market
The UKCA marking will not be recognised on the EU or Northern Ireland markets. Products currently requiring a CE marking for sale in the EU will continue to need a CE mark (and meet the other EU rules).
Although you are encouraged to prepare to use the UKCA marking for the GB market as soon as possible, you do not need to change the conformity marking on your product if it is CE marked and if any of the following apply:
- you self-declare the conformity of your good against the regulations
- you voluntarily use a testing or notified body to test against European or international standards
- the product will be placed on the market before 1 January 2023
You may need to take additional action if your good needs third-party conformity assessment.
Check whether your UK approved body is taking steps that help you continue to export to the EU without needing to find an EU notified body.
If not, you may need to apply for a new certificate from an EU notified body if you also want to sell your product in the EU. Your approved body should provide another body of your choice with information relating to your conformity assessments in order to facilitate this.