In the guide
To fully understand this guidance, it is important to note the difference between the United Kingdom and Great Britain:
- UK: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
- GB: England, Scotland and Wales
This guidance is for England, Scotland and Wales
There is a legal requirement for certain products to be UKCA-marked when placed on the internal GB market. UKCA marking is a key indicator of a product's compliance with GB legislation. By affixing the UKCA mark on a product a manufacturer is declaring conformity with all of the legal requirements to achieve UKCA marking. This may mean that there is more than one set of legal requirements that apply to a product.
There is currently a transitional arrangement where the CE mark can continue to be used in the UK.
UKCA marking may be achieved in two different ways:
- examination by UK-approved bodies. This means that the manufacturer must use an approved body (such as those listed on the UKMCAB database) to test or review the product, which will enable the application of the UKCA mark
- self-declaration. This does not require any independent testing or review and it is therefore the manufacturer's own statement that they believe the product meets the relevant regulations
It is the manufacturer's responsibility to carry out the conformity assessment in accordance with the relevant safety legislation, bearing in mind that some safety legislation is product specific - for example, the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016 and the Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011.
It is also the manufacturer's responsibility to set up the technical file (including test reports and risk assessments), to issue the declaration of conformity and to affix the UKCA mark. There is no visual difference between a mandatory or self-declared UKCA mark and so a small business or consumer cannot tell whether the product has been tested or not. Therefore distributors must take care and must verify the presence of both the UKCA mark and the necessary supporting documentation.
If a product requires a UKCA mark but does not have one, it is illegal to place it on the GB market. However, do remember that not all products sold in GB need to bear UKCA marking, so distributors must have a basic knowledge of the legal requirements. You should know what products must bear the UKCA mark and the accompanying documents required, and should be able to identify products that are clearly not in compliance.
The GOV.UK website contains more detailed information on the UKCA mark, including guidance on roles and responsibilities, conformity assessment and documentation, and placing manufactured goods on the GB market.
Consumer products that must bear UKCA marking include:
- ecodesign - that is, energy consuming products such as air heating / cooling products, white goods, computers, lighting products, solid fuel boilers and transformers
- electrical goods designed or adapted for use between 50 and 1,000 volts (in the case of alternating current) and 75 and 1,500 volts (in the case of direct current); this covers domestic electrical equipment and equipment that is intended for use in the workplace. Also:
- electromagnetic capability for electric and electronic equipment
- electronic equipment that contains substances such as cadmium and mercury (restriction of hazardous substances - RoHS)
- equipment for use outdoors, particularly in relation to noise emissions
- gas appliances
- medical devices such as thermometers, plasters and bandages, contact lens solutions, and pregnancy testing kits
- personal protective equipment such as sunglasses, protective gloves, goggles, protective clothing and helmets
- pyrotechnics - for example, fireworks
- radio equipment, which includes connected goods
- recreational craft and personal watercraft
- simple pressure vessels
The CE mark is the equivalent of the UKCA mark in the European Economic Area (EEA). It was used in the UK until we left the EU.
There are transitional arrangements that mean CE marking can be applied to any products placed on the GB market until 31 December 2024 (although in order to avoid difficulties nearer the time, it is recommended that you start using the UKCA marking as soon as possible). From this date forward goods being placed on the GB market will need to meet GB requirements.
This includes any mandatory third-party conformity assessment having been done either by a UK-based conformity assessment body (CAB) or a body located outside of the UK but recognised under a UK-EU mutual recognition agreement (MRA). The MRA will allow manufacturers to apply the CE mark without the need for any UK-recognised CAB involvement and continue to place their goods on the market on the basis of an existing CE type examination completed before 1 January 2025 (for the lifetime of the certificate) or until 31 December 2027, whichever is the sooner.
Records should be kept of documentation that demonstrated that the product was imported into GB under contract before 1 January 2025 to take advantage of this transitional arrangement. Goods that are considered to be spare parts for repair or refurbishment will not need to be re-certified or re-marked provided that the original goods that they are ultimately intended to repair were placed on the market before 1 January 2025.
If you are an importer of certain goods from the EEA, under transitional arrangements you will be permitted to have your details applied via a sticky label or on accompanying documentation - rather than on the goods themselves - until 31 December 2027. There are different rules for products such as construction products and transportable pressure equipment.Back to top
Where Northern Ireland is involved, there is a further mark that is used: the UKNI mark. This is needed because of the Northern Ireland Protocol, which came into force on 1 January 2021.
Guidance on the UKNI mark can be found on the GOV.UK website.Back to top
For more information on the work of trading standards services - and the possible consequences of not abiding by the law - please see 'Trading standards: powers, enforcement and penalties'.Back to top
In this update
The UKCA / CE mark crossover period has been extended to 31 December 2024.
Last reviewed / updated: November 2022Back to top