Last reviewed 24 February 2021
A new UK regulatory regime is now in force for manufactured goods being placed on the market in Great Britain and previously covered by the EU’s CE marking (and similar markings such as, for example, the wheel marking for marine equipment).
The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has provided guidance on this post-Brexit regulatory framework and the transitional arrangements that will apply during 2021.
Available at GOV.UK, the guidance explains that UK-based conformity assessment bodies (CABs) have automatically acquired status as UK Approved Bodies for the purpose of certifying goods to be placed on the market in Great Britain for the same scope of products for which they were notified to the EU as of 31 December 2020.
Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, all UK-based bodies retain their status as CABs for the purpose of certifying goods to be placed on the Northern Ireland market (such goods are then marked with the UK(NI) marking alongside the relevant EU conformity mark).
However, as it was not possible to reach a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on conformity assessment during the Brexit negotiations with the EU, UK CABs are no longer recognised as competent to perform conformity assessment against EU regulatory requirements.
This includes for the purposes of CE marking products to be placed on the EU market.
Similarly, EU CABs are not recognised as competent to perform conformity assessment against GB requirements for the purposes of UKCA marking.
Transitional arrangements mean that, for a finite period, in most cases until 1 January 2022, the CE marking will continue to be recognised for goods being placed on the GB market (including where assessment has been undertaken by an EU CAB).
However, for the majority of goods currently subject to the CE marking, when placed on the GB market after 1 January 2022 they will be required to meet the GB requirements.
This includes any mandatory third-party conformity assessment having been done by either a UK-based CAB or a body located outside of the UK but recognised under an MRA.