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UK Conformity Assessment

New UK product marking scheme that will be used for certain goods being placed on the UK market if there is a no-deal Brexit

What is THE UK Conformity Assessment (UKCA)?

The UKCA is a new UK product marking scheme that will be used for certain goods being placed on the UK market if there is a no-deal Brexit. The CE marking will only be accepted in the UK for a limited time after Brexit. However, while the UK remains in the European Union (EU), the UKCA mark cannot be applied.

Additionally, the UK’s Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Regulations specifies the performance and testing standards which must be met by marine equipment placed on board a UK ship, including type approval procedures that must be carried out by nominated bodies.

How will UKCA change the compliance process?

Regardless of what happens with the Brexit deal, the process for manufacturing compliant equipment is likely to have little effect from a legal perspective, or from the service which TÜV SÜD provides to our customers.

As the EU Directives are transposed into National Law, the UK already has a legal system in place that applies. There will of course be text amendments to reflect UK legislative requirements, including the UKCA mark and removal of references to EU directives and the CE marking. To maintain a single standards model, current EU harmonised standards will be carried across as UK designated standards. This means that the actual procedure will change very little from the existing structure, as all products will still need to comply with the essential requirements.

The largest impact will be on the location of the manufacturer. UK companies exporting into the EU, which currently self-declare, will have to appoint a responsible person authorised to compile the technical file. This person or entity must also be physically located in the EU. This will be reciprocated for EU entities importing into the UK, although the definition wording may be slightly different.

Under the current proposal, existing UK Notified Bodies will become UK Approved Bodies. The actual function will remain the same but under a different title. EU Notified Bodies will need to be based in the EU and UK based ones will not be able to carry out conformity assessments for products to be placed on the EU market. The UK will recognise EU Notified Bodies’ conformity assessments, at least for a time-limited period.

If you are a UK distributor for equipment manufactured in the EU, your status will change from distributor to importer and the responsibility for compliance will rest with you to follow UKCA requirements. We will of course be on-hand to assist in your compliance obligations.

Your existing EU conformity certificates will remain valid as our status as an EU Notified Body will remain unchanged. All relevant certificates for EU Directives issued by TÜV SÜD globally, such as the Radio Equipment Directive, Machinery Directive and Marine Equipment Directive, will therefore remain valid beyond Brexit.

Why choose TÜV SÜD for UKCA?

As TÜV SÜD is a global company, we have offices in multiple locations to be able to satisfy both CE and UKCA requirements. We have already taken the required measures to ensure that our Notified Body status would be unaffected in the event of a no-deal Brexit. In the event of a no deal Brexit, our certification body TÜV SÜD BABT NB0168 will automatically become a UK Approved Body.

TÜV SÜD UK will still be UKAS ISO 17025 accredited and this will remain acceptable for all test and certification requirements with for example Mutual Recognition Agreements, as with the U.S. for FCC testing and TCB work.

Under the UK’s Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Regulations TÜV SÜD BABT is the only nominated body that is permitted to undertake type approval for the following categories of equipment:

  • Navigation Equipment
  • Radiocommunication Equipment
  • Life-saving appliances (Radar reflector for liferafts)

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