New UK product safety mark planned in event of no-deal Brexit scenario

Published on: 4th February 2019

Goods such as toys currently stamped with the CE mark would have to be re-labelled.

The BBC reports that plans are in place to replace the CE mark on products in the event of a no-deal Brexit. If Britain leaves the European Union without a deal, goods will have to be stamped with a new symbol – UKCA.

Since 1993, the CE mark has shown consumers that an item meets EU legal requirements and has been tested.
UK officials are expected to unveil the official new logo shortly. Drawn up by the UK government, the new logo stands for UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA).

“A UK mark would provide confidence to consumers and to the authorities that these products meet UK regulatory requirements,” Scott Steedman of the British Standards Institution explained. “It provides flexibility for government, should there be divergence of regulations, to insist that manufacturers were committing to that UK regulatory practice in future.”

Companies would have to change their packaging, advertising and potentially an element of the products themselves, with manufacturers concerned that such a change will be costly.

“In a very short period of time, thousands of companies are going to have to spend millions of pounds collectively on changing all their markings to comply with the new mark,” Stephen Phipson, chief executive of the manufacturers’ organisation EEF, commented. “It’s another cost as a result of not doing a deal on Brexit.”

Goods made in the UK which are exported to the European Union may have to be stamped with two marks – CE for EU markets and UKCA for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. For some products that could also mean two sets of tests, as EU nations may not recognise ones done by UK organisations.

It is expected that companies will be given a period of grace, although a consultation on the time-frame is likely to take place.


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