The article below was originally published the June 2019 edition of Door Industry Journal. Since then, the government has released updated guidance here. However, the main points in this article still apply.
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The CE Marking that appears on many different products (from hair dryers to garage doors) is an important feature of a product and indicates it complies with the detailed essential requirements for that type of product. CE marking a product is required if the product falls under one of the appropriate EU Directives. The converse is also true, if a product is not covered by an appropriate directive then it should not carry the CE marking.
Using a CE mark is a legal requirement within the European Economic Area if the product falls under one of the European Union Directives. By adding the mark, the manufacturer, their authorized representative, or an importer is declaring that the product meets all the essential requirements of applicable EU directives. Effectively, CE Marking indicates to all authorities that the product is in compliance with the essential health and safety requirements of all directives that apply to the product.
UK Manufacturers should look at the implications of Brexit when placing products on the market in both the UK and the EU.
The UK Government has issued guidance to UK manufacturers regarding the placing of products on the UK market as well as placing products on the EU market if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. The Government has issued similar advice for Construction Products (visit the www.gov.uk website for more information).
With regards to the UK market, most of the CE Marking legislation is written into UK law and the legislation that is not will be transposed into UK law as the UK leaves the EU. Therefore, the CE Mark will still represent the legal base mark for products to be placed on the UK market.
The UK Government has made provision for a “UKCA” mark. This is intended to be complimentary to the CE Mark and not replace it and can be used where the Manufacturer is unable to apply a CE Mark.
This could be if the Manufacturer has made use of a UK Approved Body (The UK equivalent of the EU Notified Body) only wishing to place their product on the UK Market.
Manufacturers who place products within the EU market will not see any change in the legislation that applies to their products as the EU have not indicated that they intend to change any product legislation as a result of Brexit.
There are, however, some implications of UK Manufacturers being located outside the EU which should be considered:
Manufacturers who use a UK Notified Body should contact that body ASAP to understand their “Post Brexit” plans or if indeed the UKCA mark is more appropriate
Manufacturers who distribute through an EU supply chain should understand that the economic operator status of that supply chain will change which may require changes to packaging.
- Manufacturers of Machinery are also reminded that if they intend to place products on the EU market following a “No Deal Brexit”, they should nominate the person who is responsible for compiling the Technical File who must be located within the EU.
Be sure to read the latest government guidance regarding UKCA plates, as they are sure to be updated the closer we get to the end of the Brexit transition period.