UKCA labels are the UK equivalent of European Union CE labels, used to show conformity to various national safety requirements and regulations. They’re typically required for items such as electrical products, construction products and toys.
This page was last updated on 4th January 2021 to reflect confirmation of the UK's trading relationship with the European Union.
What are CE mark labels?
CE marks are the current way of showing that certain products, such as electrical products, construction products and toys, meet certain regulations in the European Union. The UK no longer uses this mark since its departure from the EU.
What does the UKCA mark look like?
The UKCA mark is made up of the letters ‘UKCA’ in a grid, with ‘UK’ above ‘CA’. UKCA labels are shown below:
The UKCA symbol needs to be at least 5mm in height (unless a different size is required in specific regulation), and can’t be distorted or used in different proportions. There are two design options - filled block letters, or an outline version.
UKCA labels must be easily visible, legible, and permanent. This impacts the suitability of different label specifications and materials - for example, products that are exposed to high temperatures and require a UKCA mark will need to have a durable heat resistant label to ensure conformity with regulations.
Why have UKCA labels been introduced?
The 'CE' marking previously used on products is for use within the European Union. As such, goods on the UK market must use the new 'UKCA' mark as the UK is no longer a member of the EU.
The mark was first published by the UK government in February 2019 as part of preparations for a ‘no deal’ Brexit. In September 2020 it was announced as the intended replacement for 'CE' marking.
What are UKNI labels?
Northern Ireland has a different trading relationship with the EU compared to the rest of the United Kingdom, with much greater alignment with EU rules in order to prevent a 'hard border' on the island of Ireland. As such, a variant of the UKCA mark must be used for goods sold here. It looks very similar to the standard UKCA logo, but the 'CA' letters are instead replaced with 'NI'.
When do CE labels need to change to UKCA labels?
The new marking can be used on products from January 1st 2021. For some products this will be mandatory, but for others there will be a one year implementation period for products in the UK. The government are encouraging businesses to be ready as soon as possible from January 2021.
You must at least have a cover-over label used on your products with the new UKCA mark from January 1st 2022, as the CE mark will no longer be valid. Your product can have both the CE mark and the UKCA mark and be valid, for example if it is sold in both Great Britain and the European Union. From January 1st 2023, the UKCA marking must be permanently attached.
Note: The UKCA mark applies to Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) and not Northern Ireland. Either the CE mark or UK(NI) mark must be used for Northern Ireland.
For products sold in the EU, CE marking will stay the same. Businesses will need to comply with EU regulations in order to use the marking and pass a conformity assessment.
How do I apply for the UKCA marking?
If your new product needs a third party conformity assessment, this will be carried out by a UK ‘notified body’. If you are self-declaring conformity, you will be able to use the UKCA marking.
Where do I get UKCA labels?
UKCA and UKNI labels of all kinds of shapes, sizes and materials are available from Crown Labels. We can work with you to find a material and finish suited to your product, to ensure that the UKCA/UKNI marking remains permanent and legible throughout the product’s lifespan.
Content published by Crown Labels in relation to Brexit and The United Kingdom's departure from the European Union is a broad overview and should not be considered specific guidance for your organisation, or legal advice. We recommend conducting your own specific research into how changes in the law may impact your labelling requirements, both in the United Kingdom and European Union, and seeking independent guidance/legal advice.