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UK firms given extended deadline to apply new product safety marking

The UK government has confirmed that it will continue to recognise the CE product marking in Great Britain for two additional years.

Use of the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark became mandatory from 1 January 2022 and the previous deadline for achieving compliance with the new marking was 1 January 2023. The UKCA covers most goods, such as electronics, gas appliances or personal protective equipment, and demonstrates that the products comply with the UK’s product safety regulations.

Earlier this week, however, ministers told businesses that they could also use the CE and reversed epsilon marking for products being placed on the GB market until 31 December 2024. Zoe Betts of Pinsent Masons said the decision would give industry the flexibility to choose which marking to apply.

“The extended deadline will provide greater freedom for businesses to focus on growth in light of the present economic challenges. As part of its recent announcement, the government has committed to reviewing its wider product safety framework in order to minimise the burden on businesses and make it easier for them to achieve conformity,” Betts said.

She added: “It is understood that ministers are also intending to introduce different rules for medical devices, construction products, cableways, transportable pressure equipment, unmanned aircraft systems, rail products, and marine equipment.”

The change comes after the government announced measures to reduce the costs of retesting and labelling products, including by allowing businesses to affix the UKCA marking and include importer information for products from EEA countries on an accompanying document or label until 31 December 2027. The government will also allow conformity assessment activities for CE marking undertaken by 31 December 2024 to be used by manufacturers as the basis for the UKCA marking until 31 December 2027.

Liam Jagger of Pinsent Masons said: “These measures are expected to be warmly welcomed by businesses that are required to navigate the often burdensome and complex conformity requirements in very challenging economic times”.

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