UKCA marking: roles and responsibilities
If the UKCA marking applies to products you manufacture or handle, you will have specific obligations and responsibilities for compliance, depending on your role.
Applies to England, Scotland and Wales
The deadline for when businesses need to use the UKCA mark has been extended.
You can continue to use the CE marking and reversed epsilon marking on the GB market until 31 December 2024.
This guidance explains some of the obligations and responsibilities of the economic operators looking to comply with the new UKCA marking in Great Britain (GB). Great Britain is England, Wales and Scotland.
Economic operators under the relevant legislation are:
- 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 safety requirements in the legislation. This will involve following relevant conformity assessment procedures as set out in the relevant regulations (for example, self-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 a label placed on the product, to the product’s packaging or to 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.
The government intends to 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 11pm on 31 December 2027. Find out more about using the UKCA marking.
Manufacturers must draw up technical documentation and a UK declaration of conformity and keep both for 10 years after a product has been placed on the GB market. This is to demonstrate to market surveillance and enforcement authorities, like the Office for Product Safety and Standards, that a product conforms with the regulatory requirements (if requested).
Find out more about the technical documentation required to show compliance.
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, the manufacturer must ensure 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 generally should 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. For example, ensuring series products are bought into compliance when product regulations change. You must take account of any changes in the products 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 and 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 market surveillance authority.
Specific responsibilities for manufacturers
For certain product regulations, manufacturers have specific obligations. These include regulations for:
This list is indicative and not exhaustive. Manufacturers should check the relevant product specific legislation applicable to their product to understand their full responsibilities.
An importer is anybody (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.
The importer’s obligations build on from the obligations of the manufacturer and authorised representative.
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.
Importers must not place a non-compliant product on the market. They must ensure the manufacturer has carried out the correct conformity assessment procedures, subject to the requirements of the relevant legislation. If the manufacturer has appeared to have supplied non-compliant products, then the importer must take the necessary corrective actions (for example, recalling products from the market) to prevent the products from being placed on the GB market, until they are compliant with the appropriate legislative requirements.
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.
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.
The importer must ensure the manufacturer has drawn up the correct technical documentation in English, affixed conformity markings, and has fulfilled their identification obligations. See our guidance on technical documentation and using the UKCA marking for further information.
Before placing products on the market, the importer must indicate their details (name, registered trade name or registered trademark, and postal address – usually a number, street, and postcode) on the product. Where this is unwarranted 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 to placing them to products themselves.
There are also special rules for products imported from an EEA state or Switzerland before 11pm on 31 December 2027. In these cases, to smooth the transition, 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 ensure that, while the product is under their responsibility, the storage or transport conditions do not jeopardise its compliance with the relevant UK products regulations.
Importers must retain a copy of the Declaration of Conformity and technical documentation for 10 years after the product has been placed on the market.
Under certain UK product regulations and depending on which specific regulations apply to you, market surveillance authorities may conduct sample testing of products, if they suspect products are non-compliant.
You should check the relevant legislation to understand your full obligations, however there may be specific responsibilities exclusively required of you.
There are no importer obligations for products falling under both the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008, and the Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for use Outdoors Regulations 2001. It is the ‘responsible person’ who will need to ensure products are compliant and bear the UKCA marking (when placed on the market or put into service). The ‘responsible person’ is either the manufacturer or their authorised representative (and in specific circumstances can include the person placing the product on the GB market or the person putting the product into service in GB).
An authorised representative (AR) is anybody (an individual or company) who is appointed by a manufacturer 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.
The delegation of tasks from the manufacturer to the authorised representative must be explicit and set out in writing. If an AR is importing a product, then they also adopt the obligations of the importer too. The manufacturer in some cases could appoint an importer to carry out the delegated duties of the authorised representative, alongside the importer’s legal obligations. There is a limit as to what the authorised representative can do. They are not responsible for safety and compliance, for example.
If used, ARs must be established in the UK.
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
If an authorised representative is also acting as an importer, or distributor, they will also need to fulfil the obligations of those economic operators under the legislation. An AR cannot act as a manufacturer, although as above, they may perform tasks on the manufacturer’s behalf.
GB-established authorised representatives are not recognised in the EU.
Read more about the new rules and how they apply in Northern Ireland.
You can also find more about the practical implementation of the new rules in the EU and EEA published by the European Commission.
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 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 these persons cannot be distributors.
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 relevant) 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 essential safety 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 prevent them from being placed on the GB market until the product has been brought 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 the legislation.
Distributors must cooperate with and provide information to the market surveillance authorities following a request.
There are no distributor obligations for products falling under either the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008, and the Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for use Outdoors Regulations 2001.
Consumers and most professional end-users are not 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.
Last updated 14 November 2022 + show all updates
The deadline for when businesses need to use the UKCA mark has been extended. You can continue to use the CE marking and reversed epsilon marking on the GB market until 31 December 2024.