If the UKCA marking applies to products you manufacture or supply, you will have specific obligations and responsibilities for compliance, depending on your role.
Applies to England, Scotland and Wales
The government intends to legislate to continue recognition of EU requirements, including the CE marking, indefinitely for a range of product regulations this spring. This will mean businesses have the flexibility to use either the UKCA or CE marking to sell products in Great Britain.
The government is introducing a new fast-track provision which will allow manufacturers to place products on the GB market where they meet the EU essential requirements and, where required, have been conformity assessed by an EU recognised conformity assessment body.
To benefit from this provision manufacturers will need to affix the UKCA marking (in a way that is allowed) and draw up the UK declaration of conformity, listing compliance with the relevant EU legislation. This also means that where products fall within multiple regulations, a mixture of both UKCA and CE conformity assessment procedures can be used.
This is designed to provide longer-term certainty and flexibility for businesses should the UK mandate UKCA for certain regulations in the future. Find out more about.
Continued recognition of current EU requirements, including the CE and reversed epsilon markings, will apply to 21 product regulations, including the 18 product regulations owned by the Department of Business and Trade (DBT), previously announced on 1 August 2023. Following feedback from industry, we are also continuing recognition for a further 3 regulations covering: ecodesign, civil explosives, and in most circumstances restriction of hazardous substances (in electrical equipment).
This announcement does not apply to regulations for medical devices, construction products, marine equipment, rail products, cableways, transportable pressure equipment and unmanned aircraft systems regulations. There are specific arrangements in place for these sectors.
Separately, following feedback from businesses, the government also intends to bring forward an additional statutory instrument to legislate for further measures in Spring 2024.
This will provide permanent labelling flexibility, allowing:
- The UKCA marking to be placed on a sticky label or accompanying document.
- Importers of goods from any country outside the UK to provide their details either on the product itself, on an accompanying document, the packaging or on an adhesive label. This means all businesses placing products on the GB market will benefit from this measure and have the option to provide their details either indelibly on the product itself, on an accompanying document, the packaging or on an adhesive label.
- The voluntary option to use digital labelling. Businesses will be able to apply the UKCA marking, manufacturer details and importer details digitally.
Additional details for these measures will be provided in due course, including which regulations the measures will apply to.
The DBT regulations in scope of this announcement are:
- Equipment for use in potentially explosive atmospheres Regulations 2016/1107
- Electromagnetic compatibility Regulations 2016/1091
- Lifts Regulations 2016/1093
- Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016/1101
- Pressure Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016/1105
- Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015/1553
- Recreational Craft Regulations 2017/737
- Radio Equipment Regulations 2017/1206
- Simple Pressure Vessels (Safety) Regulations 2016/1092
- Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011/1881
- Aerosol Dispensers Regulations 2009/ 2824
- Gas Appliances (EU Regulation) 2016/426
- Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008/1597
- Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for use Outdoors Regulations 2001/1701
- Personal Protective Equipment (EU Regulation) 2016/425
- Measuring Instruments Regulations 2016/1153
- Non-automatic weighing instruments Regulations 2016/1152
- Measuring Container Bottles (EEC Requirements) Regulations 1977
For Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra):
- Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012 (‘The RoHS Regulations’)
For Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ):
- Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products Regulations 2010
For Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) [HSE]:
- Explosives Regulations 2014
This page will be updated to reflect the changes in due course.
The government intends to introduce legislation to extend recognition of goods that meet EU requirements (including the CE marking), indefinitely, beyond 2024 for many products. This will mean that certain goods that meet EU requirements can be placed on the GB market. These updates apply to the 18 regulations that fall under DBT.
- recreational craft and personal watercraft
- simple pressure vessels
- electromagnetic compatibility
- non-automatic weighing instruments
- measuring instruments
- measuring container bottles
- equipment for potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX)
- radio equipment
- pressure equipment
- personal protective equipment (PPE)
- gas appliances
- equipment for use outdoors
- low voltage electrical equipment
There are specific rules for: medical devices, rail products, construction products, civil explosives, marine equipment, cableways, ecodesign, transportable pressure equipment, and hazardous substances (RoHS).
This guidance explains some of the obligations and responsibilities of the economic operators looking to use the UKCA marking in Great Britain (GB). Great Britain is England, Wales and Scotland.
Economic operators under the relevant legislation are:
- manufacturers and their authorised representatives
The guidance is designed to give economic operators an idea of the rules in place. It’s not exhaustive and economic operators should refer to the relevant legislation to ensure they are aware of all the requirements they need to comply with.
A manufacturer is normally an individual or business who manufactures a product, or has a product designed or manufactured and markets that product under their own name or trademark.
For instance, an importer who markets a good under their name and trademark is usually considered to be the manufacturer and assumes the responsibilities of a manufacturer.
Manufacturers should check the relevant product specific legislation applicable to their product to understand their full responsibilities.
Obligations for all manufacturers
Before placing a product on the GB market, the manufacturer must ensure that the product has been designed and manufactured in accordance with the relevant requirements in the relevant legislation.
This will involve following relevant conformity assessment procedures as set out in the relevant regulations, for example, the self-assessment and declaration or mandatory third-party conformity assessment.
Next, the manufacturer must draw up a declaration of conformity and place the UKCA marking visibly, legibly, and indelibly to the product.
However, legislation in certain product sectors may allow the UKCA marking to be alternatively affixed to one of the following:
- a label placed on the product
- a label placed on the product’s packaging
- a document accompanying the product
These exceptions may require certain conditions to be met, such as the nature of the product making it impossible for the UKCA marking to be placed on it directly.
Until 11pm on 31 December 2027, the UKCA marking can be placed on a label affixed to the product or on a document accompanying the product. Find out more about using the UKCA marking.
Manufacturers must draw up technical documentation and a UK declaration of conformity and keep both for the period specified in the legislation (usually 10 years) after a product has been placed on the GB market.
This can be used to demonstrate to market surveillance and enforcement authorities, for example, the Office for Product Safety and Standards, that a product conforms with the regulatory requirements.
Manufacturers must indicate their name, registered trade name or registered trademark, and postal address on the product. There may also be other product specific indications that manufacturers should include, such as a type, batch, serial, or model number.
Where it is not possible to indicate this on the product (for example, because the product is too small), the legislation may allow the manufacturer to affix the information is indicated on the packaging or in a document accompanying the product.
Manufacturers must ensure that the product is accompanied by instructions. The precise content and nature of the instructions will be product specific, but they must be clear, legible and in easily understandable English.
Manufacturers must also make certain that procedures are in place to ensure that any products in series production remain in conformity with the relevant product regulations. In doing so, you must take account of any changes in the product’s design, characteristics, and designated standards or technical specifications to which the declaration of conformity was drawn up.
Manufacturers must act where they have reason to believe that the product(s) they have placed on the GB market are not in conformity with the legal requirements of the relevant regulations. They must immediately take the corrective measures necessary to bring the product into conformity or withdraw or recall it.
Where the product presents a risk, the manufacturer must immediately inform the enforcement or market surveillance authority.
Specific responsibilities for manufacturers
For certain product regulations in scope of this guidance, manufacturers or other relevant economic operators have specific obligations. These include regulations for:
This list is indicative and not exhaustive. Manufacturers or other relevant economic operators should check the relevant product specific legislation applicable to their product to understand their full responsibilities.
Read more about the new rules and how they apply in Northern Ireland.
You can also find more information about economic operator responsibilities for the EU in the guide published by the European Commission.
An importer is any individual or business established in the UK who supplies a product from outside the UK for distribution, consumption or use on the GB market in the course of a commercial activity.
As well as ensuring the manufacturer has fulfilled their responsibilities, importers have other obligations.
Importers should check the relevant product specific legislation applicable to their product to understand their full responsibilities.
Obligations for all importers
As an importer, you have legal obligations which go beyond those of distributors, when placing a product on the GB market.
Before placing products in the scope of this guidance on the market, the importer must indicate their details on the product, such as their:
- registered trade name or registered trademark
- postal address – usually a number, street, and postcode
Where this is not possible due to the nature of the product, the product specific legislation sometimes permits placing these details on packaging, or placing them on accompanying documentation, as an alternative.
There are also special rules for products imported from an EEA state, or in some cases Switzerland, before 11pm on 31 December 2027. In these cases, the importer’s details can be set out elsewhere instead of being affixed to the product itself. This will typically be in an accompanying document or on the product’s packaging.
This measure applies to the following regulations:
- Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016
- Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2016
- Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2016
- Explosives Regulations 2014
- Lifts Regulations 2016
- Measuring Instruments Regulations 2016
- Non-automatic Weighing Instruments Regulations 2016
- Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015
- Simple Pressure Vessels (Safety) Regulations 2016
- Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008
- The Pressure Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016
- Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011
- Radio Equipment Regulations 2017
- Recreational Craft Regulations 2017
- Regulation (EU) 2016/426 and the Gas Appliances (Enforcement) and Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 2018
- Regulation (EU) 2016/425 and the Personal Protective Equipment (Enforcement) Regulations 2018
- The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012
- Weights and Measures (Packaged Goods) Regulations 2006
Qualifying Northern Ireland goods have different arrangements. You can find out more about qualifying Northern Ireland Goods.
Importers must not place a non-compliant product on the GB market.
They must ensure the manufacturer has:
- carried out the correct conformity assessment procedures
- drawn up the relevant technical documentation and instructions for use in English
- affixed the relevant conformity marking
- fulfilled their identification obligations
If an importer considers that the product they have supplied is non-compliant, then the importer must take the necessary corrective actions. For example, taking action to ensure the product is compliant, or withdrawing or recalling products from the market.
Where the product presents a risk, the importer must immediately inform the relevant enforcement authority. You can read further information about how to notify an enforcement authority.
Moreover, an importer who markets a good under their name and trademark is usually considered to be the manufacturer and assumes the responsibilities of a manufacturer.
Importers must ensure that, while the product is under their responsibility, the storage or transport conditions do not jeopardise its compliance with the relevant essential requirements. They must also retain a copy of the Declaration of Conformity and technical documentation for a period (usually 10 years) after the product has been placed on the GB market.
Market surveillance authorities may conduct sample testing of products at any time. Importers are under a duty to cooperate and provide information to enforcement authorities, necessary to demonstrate that the product is compliant, on request. Such a request can only usually be made within 10 years from the date the product was placed on the market.
Certain pieces of legislation use different concepts and definitions. For example, the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 place obligations on the “responsible person” who is defined as the manufacturer or their authorised representative.
However, the definition of “manufacturer” differs from the definition given above and could include someone who would be an “importer” for other pieces of legislation. Similarly, obligations are placed on the “responsible person” in the Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for use Outdoors Regulations 2001.
You should check the relevant legislation to understand your full obligations, however there may be specific responsibilities exclusively required of you.
An authorised representative (AR) is an individual or company who is established in the United Kingdom and is appointed by a manufacturer. They agree to carry out certain agreed specified tasks (for example, drawing up a UK Declaration of Conformity for a manufacturer) on their behalf, as defined in the relevant product legislation.
Where a manufacturer appoints an AR, the manufacturer remains responsible for the proper performance of any tasks delegated to the AR.
The delegation of tasks from the manufacturer to the AR must be explicit and set out in writing. If an AR is importing a product, then they will be considered importers and therefore subject to the obligations of the importer too.
The manufacturer could appoint the company importing their product (who would be subject to the importer responsibilities) to carry out the delegated duties of the AR, alongside the importer’s legal obligations.
There is a limit as to what the authorised representative can do. They cannot usually be responsible for ensuring that the product is designed and manufactured in accordance with the essential requirements, for example.
Under some product legislation an authorised representative is mandatory, but in most cases it is voluntary. For instance, the supply of medical devices for the GB market will require a UK-based responsible person to be appointed by the manufacturer. Check your respective product regulations to determine whether the use of an authorised representative is mandatory.
Where a manufacturer appoints an authorised representative, they may, among other things, ask them to:
- affix the UKCA marking
- draw up and sign a UK Declaration of Conformity
- keep the necessary technical documentation and to cooperate with market surveillance authorities
A manufacturer who delegates responsibility for any task to an authorised representative remains responsible for the proper performance of that task.
If an authorised representative is also an importer, or distributor, they will also need to fulfil the obligations of those economic operators under the legislation.
GB-established authorised representatives are not recognised in the EU.
A distributor is a person in the supply chain, other than the manufacturer or importer, who makes products available on the GB market. If a person established in the UK is bringing in a product from outside of the UK and placing it on the market, they will be considered an importer under the legislation and therefore not a distributor.
Obligations for all distributors
Please note that this guidance to distributors is non-exhaustive. You should check the relevant legislation to understand your full responsibilities and whether there are specific obligations depending on the products you are placing on the GB market.
Before making a product available on the GB market, a distributor must take due care to ensure that it is in conformity with product regulations as they apply in GB.
The distributor must verify that the manufacturer and importer (if there is one) have indicated their name, registered trade name or registered trademark, postal address, and any other required indications on the product.
Distributors must ensure that products bear the UKCA marking and are accompanied by the required documentation, instructions, and safety information.
Distributors must not make a product available if they have reason to believe it is not in conformity with the relevant essential requirements. If there is reason to believe the products are non-compliant, then the distributor must not make products available and take corrective actions to bring them into conformity.
Where the product presents a risk, the distributor must immediately inform the relevant enforcement authority.
Distributors must ensure that while the products are under their responsibility within the supply chain, the products storage and transport conditions do not jeopardise their conformity with UK essential requirements.
Distributors must cooperate with and provide information to the market surveillance authorities following a request.
Certain pieces of legislation use different concepts and definitions. Examples include the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008, and the Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for use Outdoors Regulations 2001. As such, there are no “distributor” obligations for products falling under these regulations.
Consumers are not usually subject to obligations under the legislation. However, some professional end-users who ‘put products into service’ may be subject to compliance obligations if set out in the product legislation.