Post-Brexit, manufacturers and importers have new obligations in relation to product marking requirements in the UK, with the most significant changes due to take effect from 1 January 2022.
Following Brexit, the UK has diverged from the existing EU CE marking regime. While the substantive requirements for conformity assessment currently remain largely the same, new markings demonstrating that a product conforms to the relevant regulatory regime have been introduced in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Any manufacturer or importer placing goods on the UK market must comply with the new UKCA and UKNI mark regime.
Businesses must have a strategy in place to ensure compliance with the deadlines for the new product marking requirements, and that all relevant conformity assessments have been carried out. To place products requiring mandatory third-party conformity assessment (testing) on the market in Great Britain, a conformity assessment must be carried out by a UK body from 1 January 2022 onwards.
It is also essential that businesses monitor developments in product standards. While the UK regulatory position remains largely identical to the current EU position, there is considerable scope for future divergence, and new product standards may become applicable for products being placed on the UK market.
Failure to comply with the relevant product conformity regime or associated marking requirements can have serious adverse consequences for business. Potential sanctions can include forced recalls, an unlimited fine, or even a custodial sentence. Investigation by enforcement agencies can cause significant reputational damage, and delays in placing products on the market. Goods that have not breached conformity requirements but are incorrectly marked or labelled may be held at customs when entering the UK or the EU and be subject to investigation.
To view the latest information on product marking in an easily-digestible table format, click here. Please note the various deadlines and ensure that your business is monitoring all new product-specific legislation and guidance to minimise any risk of non-compliance.