Guidance

Using the UKNI marking from 1 January 2021

Find out if you will need to use the new UKNI marking and how to use it from 1 January 2021.

New rules for January 2021

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year.

This page tells you what you'll need to do from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.

You can also read about the transition period.

The Northern Ireland Protocol comes into force from 1 January 2021. For as long as it is in force, Northern Ireland will align with all relevant EU rules relating to the placing on the market of manufactured goods. You must show that your products meet those rules by using ‘conformity markings.’

The UKNI marking is a new conformity marking for products placed on the market in Northern Ireland which have undergone mandatory third-party conformity assessment by a body based in the UK. This guidance explains how to use the UKNI marking (sometimes referred to as the UK(NI) mark or the UK(NI) indication).

For further information on the general arrangements for placing goods on the Northern Ireland market, see the guidance on placing manufactured goods on the market in Northern Ireland.

For further information on general requirements across the UK, see marking, labelling and marketing standards from 1 January 2021.

Check whether you will need to use the new UKNI marking

Placing goods on the market in Northern Ireland

You need to use a conformity marking if you are placing certain goods on the market to show they meet the relevant rules.

In Northern Ireland, EU conformity markings will continue to be used to show goods meet EU rules after 1 January 2021. For most manufactured goods, this is the CE marking, but there are some other markings for specific products.

If you are using a UK body to carry out mandatory third-party conformity assessment you also need to apply a UKNI marking.

You never apply the UKNI marking on its own - it always accompanies an EU conformity marking.

Moving goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain

The UK government will guarantee unfettered access for Northern Ireland’s businesses to the whole of the UK market, without the need for additional approvals before placing goods on the market in the rest of the UK. You will be able to place qualifying Northern Ireland goods on the market in Great Britain based on the conformity markings you use in Northern Ireland.

Further guidance on the definition of qualifying Northern Ireland goods will be available soon.

See Moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol: moving goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain for more details of the UK government’s approach to unfettered access.

Placing goods on the EU market

The UKNI marking will not be recognised on the EU market. If you are placing goods on the EU market, you must use the CE marking on its own, without the UKNI marking. To find out how to place a CE marking on your product, please see Using the CE marking.

Accepted markings for different markets

Your goods may require different markings for different markets. The table below illustrates the accepted markings on each market.

Type of good (see list of product areas below) Accepted marking or combination of markings*
Placing goods on the market in Northern Ireland Manufactured goods being placed on the market in NI using an EU conformity assessment body CE
  Manufactured goods being placed on the market in NI using a UK-based body CE and UKNI
Placing goods on the market in Great Britain Manufactured goods being placed on the GB market until the end of 2021 UKCA or CE
  Manufactured goods placed on the GB market from 1 Jan 2022 UKCA
Placing qualifying Northern Ireland goods on the market in Great Britain (unfettered access) Qualifying Northern Ireland goods being placed on the GB market under unfettered access CE or CE and UKNI
Placing goods on the EU market Manufactured goods being placed on the EU market CE

*You may use combinations of the product markings listed in each box and your goods may be acceptable with more than one marking. For example, a product with both the CE and UKCA markings can be placed on the EU market. However, for the EU market the CE mark must appear without the UKNI indication as goods bearing the ‘CE and UKNI’ marking are not acceptable in the EU market. This means these goods must be manufactured to EU rules and cannot be assessed by a body based in the UK.

When to use the UKNI marking

You need to use the UKNI marking if all of the following apply:

  • you are placing certain goods (mostly those goods subject to the CE marking) on the Northern Ireland market after the end of the transition period
  • your goods require mandatory third-party conformity assessment
  • you are planning to use a UK body to carry out those conformity assessments from 1 January 2021

You will not be able to use the UKNI marking if either of the following apply:

  • you are placing goods on the market in the EU
  • you are planning to use an EU body to carry out conformity assessments

If you are a manufacturer based in Northern Ireland (or the manufacturer’s authorised representative) and you currently mark your goods on the basis of a supplier’s declaration of conformity, you will not need to make any changes. Your goods will continue to be valid on the UK and EU markets using the relevant conformity markings.

How to use the UKNI marking

Placing the UKNI marking

In most cases, you must apply the UKNI marking to the product itself or to the packaging. In some cases, it may be placed on the manuals or on other supporting documents. This will vary depending on the specific regulations that apply to the product.

The following general rules apply:

  • the UKNI marking must only be placed on a product by you as the manufacturer or your authorised representative (where allowed for in the relevant legislation)
  • when attaching the UKNI marking to accompany another conformity marking, you take full responsibility for your product’s conformity with the requirements of the relevant legislation
  • you must not place any marking or sign that may misconstrue the meaning or form of the UKNI marking to third parties
  • you must not attach other markings on the product which affect the visibility, legibility or meaning of the UKNI marking
  • the UKNI marking cannot be placed on products unless there is a specific requirement to do so in the legislation
  • the UKNI marking must accompany another conformity marking; it never appears on a product alone

Rules for using the UKNI marking

You must make sure that:

  • if you reduce or enlarge the size of your marking the letters forming the UKNI marking must be in proportion to the version set out below
  • the UKNI marking is at least 5mm in height – unless a different minimum dimension is specified in the relevant legislation
  • the UKNI marking is easily visible, legible, and permanently attached
The UKNI mark

For similar obligations that apply when using other conformity markings, see how to use the UKCA marking.

Technical documentation

Record keeping

You, your authorised representative (where allowed for in the relevant legislation) or importer, must keep documentation to demonstrate that your product conforms with the regulatory requirements. This must be kept for up to 10 years after the product is placed on the market.

This information can be requested at any time by enforcement authorities to check that your product conforms with the regulatory requirements.

The information you must keep will vary depending on the specific legislation relevant to your product. You must keep general records of:

  • how the product is designed and manufactured
  • how the product has been shown to conform to the relevant requirements
  • the addresses of the manufacturer and any storage facilities

You should keep the information in the form of a technical file which can be supplied if requested by an enforcement authority.

The same record keeping duties apply when placing a product on the market in Great Britain. Enforcement authorities have the same right to request a technical file.

EU Declaration of Conformity

The EU Declaration of Conformity is a document which must be drawn up for most products lawfully bearing a CE marking, whether it is accompanied by a UKNI marking or not.

In this document you as the manufacturer, or your authorised representative (where allowed for in the relevant legislation), should:

  • declare that the product is in conformity with the relevant regulatory requirements applicable to the specific product
  • make sure the document has the name and address of the manufacturer (or your authorised representative) together with information about the product and the conformity assessment body (where relevant)

The EU Declaration of Conformity should be available to enforcement authorities on request. The information required on the Declaration of Conformity will be the same as what has been required before 1 January 2021.

More information

Product areas covered by the UKNI marking

  • aerosols
  • appliances burning gaseous fuels
  • cableway installations designed to carry persons
  • certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment
  • construction products
  • eco-design of energy related products
  • electromagnetic compatibility
  • equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres
  • hot-water boilers
  • household refrigerators and freezers
  • lifts
  • low voltage electrical equipment
  • machinery
  • measuring instruments
  • noise emission in the environment
  • non-automatic weighing instruments
  • personal protective equipment
  • pressure equipment
  • pyrotechnics
  • radio and telecommunications terminal equipment
  • recreational craft and personal watercraft
  • safety of toys
  • simple pressure vessels

Products covered by the UKNI marking but which have some special rules:

  • medical devices
  • rail interoperability
  • civil explosives

Contact

If you have any queries or require further assistance regarding the UKNI marking, please contact goodsregulation@beis.gov.uk.

Published 30 October 2020