Guidance

Placing manufactured products on the market in Great Britain

What you need to do to comply with regulations on manufactured products you place on the market in Great Britain.

Applies to England, Scotland and Wales

This guidance is about placing manufactured products on the market in Great Britain (GB). Great Britain is England, Wales and Scotland.

There’s different guidance if you’re:

Overview

An individual, fully-manufactured product is placed on the market when it’s first made available for distribution, consumption or use on the GB market in the course of a commercial activity, whether in return for payment or free of charge.

This requires an offer or agreement for the transfer of ownership, possession, or any other property right of an individual product, after the stage of manufacture is complete.

‘Placing a product on the market’ refers to individual products and not a type of product. It does not require the physical transfer of the product.

You can usually provide proof of placing on the market on the basis of any relevant document ordinarily used in business transactions, including:

  • contracts of sale concerning goods which have already been manufactured and meet the legal requirements
  • invoices
  • documents concerning the shipping of goods for distribution

Businesses are encouraged to be ready for full implementation of the new UK regime as soon as possible. However, to allow businesses time to adjust, CE marked goods in scope of this guidance that meet EU requirements (where these match UK requirements) can continue to be placed on the GB market until 11pm on 31 December 2022. This includes goods which have been assessed by an EU recognised notified body.

The UKCA mark must be used for placing goods on the GB market from 11pm on 31 December 2022.

You will still need to take action to ensure you comply with importer responsibilities if you’re placing a product on the GB market from outside the UK.

Examples

If a GB based toy manufacturer contracts to supply individually identifiable (with individual type, batch, or serial numbers, for example) and fully manufactured toys to a shop in GB before 11pm on 31 December 2022, this agreement will constitute placing on the GB market, even if the toys are physically delivered after 11pm on 31 December 2022.

If an overseas electronics manufacturer contracts to sell individually identifiable and fully manufactured products to an end user (a consumer, for example) who is resident in GB, this will constitute placing on the GB market.

Check which rules apply

What you need to do depends on the type of goods you’re placing on the GB market.

You must make sure that your products meet GB rules. You’ll need to do this even if they were previously sold in an EU country.

Most of this page covers goods subject to the UKCA marking.

There are different rules for products regulated under other regulatory frameworks, such as:

There are also specific rules for other products such as:

Read more about which regulations apply to your products and how to comply with them.

You can speak to your solicitor or trade association if you are unsure which regulations apply to your products.

UKCA in other territories

The UKCA marking does not apply in the Crown Dependencies: the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey.

The UKCA marking does not apply in the British Overseas Territories.

You should check requirements with the relevant governing authorities.

Circulation of products on the market in GB

If you placed products on the GB or EU markets (EU or an EEA state) before 11pm on 31 December 2020, you do not need to do anything new for these individual products.

EEA states include any country in the EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

These products can continue to circulate on either market until they reach their end user. Once they reach their end user, this provision no longer applies.

This means that, for example, if the product was originally placed on the GB market, the end user cannot sell the product on the EU market without ensuring the product conforms to current EU requirements.

You can read our guidance on conformity assessment to find out more.

The relevant economic operator (whether manufacturer, authorised representative, importer or distributor) bears the burden of proof for demonstrating that the product was placed on the market before 11pm on 31 December 2020.

Find out more about economic operators and their responsibilities.

If you placed a compliant CE-marked product on the GB market before 11pm on 31 December 2022, you do not need to do anything new. Those products can continue to circulate on the GB market.

The UKCA marking is required for relevant products placed on the GB market after 11pm on 31 December 2022.

Products sold online

If fully manufactured products are made available online and targeted at GB end users, such that an offer for the transfer of ownership, possession, or any other property right in those products are made, they are considered placed on the GB market. If this happens after 11pm on 31 December 2022, such products will require the UKCA marking.

The physical transfer of products is not required for the products to be placed on the market, so the location of the product when it is placed on the GB market is not the decisive factor. When considering transactions between different economic operators, transactions between operators established outside of the UK do not constitute placing on the GB market.

Existing imported CE-marked stock

Fully manufactured and conformity assessed CE-marked products which have been imported into GB under contract before 11pm on 31 December 2022 are considered as ‘placed on the GB market’.

Therefore, these products do not need to undergo any re-testing and re-certification or re-labelling to meet UKCA requirements. However, the products should still be checked to ensure they meet the requirements of EU law before they are further made available.

A record should be kept of documentation which demonstrates the product was imported into GB under contract before 1 January 2023. Market surveillance authorities may request this.

Products imported for further manufacture and components

When products are imported into GB for further manufacture or processing, they are not considered placed on the market because only fully manufactured products can be considered to be placed on the market. Under these circumstances, the GB manufacturer of the finished product has the sole and ultimate responsibility for ensuring it is UKCA compliant before placing it on the GB market from 11pm 31 December 2022.

A finished product must be compliant with all applicable legislation when placed on the GB market. This may include a requirement for the components of the product to be individually conformity assessed and marked, and manufacturers should check product-specific legislation for further details. Also see below for further guidance on the use of spare parts.

However, for many products, a single marking covering the overall product is sufficient. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to check the conformity assessment requirements for their product and the components within them. Where an assembly or installation which met EU requirements (including CE marking) was placed on the GB market on or before 11pm on 31 December 2022 is subsequently stripped down for its components to be sold separately, the business selling the components must ensure that they continue to meet the requirements that were in place when the components were first placed on the GB market (for instance when placed on the market as part of the assembly or installation).

If the components required CE marking at the time they were first placed on the GB market, then the person selling the components must check they are currently CE marked. They must also check they are properly labelled and accompanied by the required documents.

If the person selling the components has reason to believe they do not meet the requirements (including any essential safety requirements), they must not make them available.

Partly completed machinery

For machinery, there are specific provisions on ‘partly completed machinery’. Partly completed machinery which is covered by the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 and does not need to be UKCA marked. It’s the completed machinery itself that will need to be UKCA marked when placed on the market or put into service. However, if the partly completed machinery is also covered by other regulations, then it must comply with those regulations as well.

Spare parts

Products which are repaired, refurbished or exchanged without changing their original performance, purpose, or type, are not considered ‘new’ and therefore do not need to be recertified and remarked.

This includes if the product is temporarily exported for repair (as the product is not being placed on the GB market for the first time when re-imported).

Repair, replacement and maintenance operations are often carried out using other products which are spare parts. Spare parts are considered to have been placed on the market at the time at which the original product or system they are ultimately intended to repair, replace or maintain was placed on the market.

This means that spare parts can comply with the same conformity assessment requirements that were in place at the time the original product or system they are ultimately intended to repair, replace or maintain was placed on the market.

The definition of a spare part will vary depending on the commercial context, but it is broadly determined by a product’s ultimate intended usage. Whether a product is ultimately intended to be used as a spare part should be evidenced by any document demonstrating this intended use, which should be produced when requested by market surveillance authorities.

If the product has been subject to important changes, substantially changing its original performance, purpose, or type, it will be considered as a ‘new’ product. Therefore, the modified product must comply with GB regulatory requirements, including the requirement for UKCA marking from 11pm on 31 December 2022.

This guidance is intended to sit alongside existing provisions for spare parts in the regulations and continues established practice in GB.

Prototypes and testing

Prototypes which are not yet made available for distribution, consumption or use on the GB market do not require UKCA marking. However, the prototype must only be displayed or demonstrated under controlled conditions at trade fairs or exhibitions in GB. This means the product needs to be operated by experts, there must be restricted public contact with the product, the product must not interact inappropriately with other neighbouring products, and it must be clearly indicated on a sign that the product does not meet the GB requirements and will not be made available until it does.

Products undergoing testing or validating pre-production of units do not require UKCA marking, as they are still considered to be in the stage of manufacture and therefore have not been placed on the GB market.

However, fully manufactured products intended for consumer testing need to meet the UK requirements as they apply in GB, including being UKCA marked if this takes place after 11pm on 31 December 2022.

Examples

A prototype mobile phone that is operated under controlled conditions and for demonstration only would not require UKCA marking even if this took place after 11pm on 31 December 2022.

A prototype mobile phone supplied to a small group of GB consumers to test its functionality would require UKCA marking if this took place after 11pm on 31 December 2022.

Products brought into GB for temporary use

Products which are placed on the market or put into service, for temporary use or a short period of time, will still require the UKCA marking after 11pm on 31 December 2022.

If products have already been placed on the market or put into service in GB before 11pm on 31 December 2022 (which would include being brought in for temporary use), then they would not need to be re-certified or re-marked if brought in for temporary use again.

Similarly, if they have been placed on the market or put into service in the EU before 11pm on 31 December 2020, they can continue to circulate on the GB market until they reach their end user.

Example

A compliant CE-marked product or tool which has been brought in for temporary use by a technician before 11pm on 31 December 2022, or which was placed on the market or put into service in the EU before 11pm on 31 December 2020, will not require the UKCA marking.

Leasing and hiring

Transfer of ownership, possession, or any property right of an individual product is considered to have taken place in the circumstances of a sale, a loan, hiring and leasing.

However, repeated leasing and hiring of the same product, which has been placed on the GB market before 11pm on 31 December 2022, will not require re-marking if loaned, leased, or hired after this date. The repeated leasing, loaning, and hiring of a product is defined as further ‘making available’ and therefore does not require re-marking. However, before every leasing, loaning, or hiring the person leasing out, loaning out or hiring out the product will need to check that the requirements are still met.

The date a product is placed on the market can be demonstrated by any document ordinarily used in business transactions, for example a contract of sale or invoice which details the serial number of the product.

Example

A compliant product originating from outside of GB, that is hired by a GB customer before 11pm on 31 December 2022 (bearing the CE marking), can be shipped back to the supplier and rehired later without the product needing to bear the UKCA marking, provided that it is the exact same product being hired again (not merely another product of the same type or model) and the requirements for the CE-mark are still met.

Second-hand products

Second-hand products which have been imported and placed on the GB market for the first time after 11pm on 31 December 2022 will need to be UKCA marked (if they are covered by the UKCA regime).

If a second-hand product was lawfully first placed on the EU market before 11pm on 31 December 2020, it can subsequently be made available on the GB market without the need for UKCA marking, as long as it hasn’t reached its end user. However, if they have been substantially modified, there may be a need for remarking.

Example

A laptop which was first placed on the EU market after 11pm on 31 December 2020 will need to meet UKCA rules before being placed on the GB market for the first time after 11pm on 31 December 2022.

A laptop placed on the GB market before 11pm on 31 December 2022, lawfully bearing the CE marking, can be made available second-hand on the GB market after 11pm on 31 December 2022 without requiring the UKCA marking.

Webinars

We will continue to run webinars over the next few months on placing manufactured products on the market.

Find out more and register for an upcoming webinar.

Published 31 December 2020
Last updated 10 August 2022 + show all updates
  1. Guidance restructured for clarity.

  2. The government will introduce legislation so that the UKCA marking can be placed on a label affixed to the product or on a document accompanying the product until 31 December 2025. The government is also introducing legislation to reduce re-certification/re-testing costs for UKCA marking.

  3. You can continue to use the CE marking for goods placed on the market in Great Britain until 1 January 2023. The UKCA marking must be used for placing goods on the market in Great Britain from 1 January 2023. The UKCA marking can be used now and we encourage businesses to start using the UKCA marking as soon as possible.

  4. We have updated the ‘Relevant UK and EU legislation’ section to remove inaccurate legislation.

  5. First published.