What are UKCA mark labels?
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.
Note: This guidance was originally published as part of 'No Deal' Brexit preparations in 2019. The UK government is yet to confirm whether or not these rules and regulations will apply from 2021 in the event of no trade agreement being reached 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 - both in the UK and rest of the European Union.
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 are UKCA labels being introduced?
If the UK were to leave the EU in a ‘no deal’ scenario, the European Union CE Mark will need to be replaced for products sold in the UK. This is because approved bodies in the UK which assess for CE marks will no longer be recognised, and the UK will need to set up its own independent system.
The mark was first published by the UK government in February 2019 as part of preparations for a ‘no deal’ Brexit, and would be used if this situation were to occur.
When do CE labels need to change to UKCA labels?
January 2020 Update: It's now anticipated that this mark could used as a replacement to the CE Mark at the end of the transition period of leaving the EU, depending on any trade agreement reached, but this has not yet been confirmed by the UK government.
If the UK and EU agree a ‘deal’ or contingency arrangement, then the use of the CE mark is expected to stay the same - at least for a number of years. Guidance for any changes would then be published in due course.
If the UK leaves the EU in a ‘no deal’ scenario on 31st October 2019, the new UKCA mark would need to be used instead of a CE mark for products sold in the UK. Government guidance states that, for the majority of existing products and cases, a CE Mark will still be able to be used for a limited time period. However, it has not yet been stated what the length of this time period would be. After this time period, products with the CE mark would still be valid for sale if there is also a UKCA mark showing conformity to UK regulation.
For products sold in the EU, CE marking will stay the same. In there is a ‘no deal’ scenario, assessments conducted in the UK will not be recognised in the EU. As such you will need to have arrange a transfer or re-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’ and as such the UKCA marking will need to be used immediately once approved after the UK leaves the EU.
If you are self-declaring conformity, you will be able to use the UKCA marking.
Where do I get UKCA labels?
UKCA 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 making 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.