The Machinery Directive has been enforceable in the UK since the mid 90’s and harmonised standards adopted or produced in the UK for a similar period.
How does the UKCA Mark apply to me?
The UK Government have stated that the UK will not be adopting an alignment approach with the EU. Although we formally left the EU at 23:00 GMT on Thursday 31st December, there is a transitional period in place.
Until 2022, the CE marking on existing products will only be valid in Great Britain if GB and EU rules remain the same. If the EU changes its rules, you will not be able to use the CE marking to sell in Great Britain. The manufacturer, importer or distributor is still responsible.
From 1 January 2022, the UKCA marking must be carried out. You should start building this into your design process ready for this date.
The UKCA marking will not be recognised on the EU market. Products currently requiring a CE marking will still need a CE marking for sale in the EU. If you provide your products into the UK, you will have to convert your CE Marking to include UKCA aswell.
Using the UKCA marking
MSCS can convert your CE Marking to both UKCA and CE as a combined certification. This means that a Declaration of Conformity can be produced to cover both Regulations with only a small amount of work in most cases. Where the Regulations differ in the future, we will keep you apprised of this and offer to give advice on maintaining conformity of your products and modify the Technical File where appropriate as an ongoing service to our clients. The UKCA marking will not be recognised on the EU market, and products currently requiring a CE marking will continue to require a CE marking for sale in the EU. In essence the situation described means that if machinery is CE compliant then it will continue to be compliant in the UK for the near future.
Continued use of the CE mark in the UK.
From 1st January 2021 you will need to apply the UKCA mark to new machinery supplied to the UK and CE marking to those sold to the EU. MSCS Ltd will apply this approach to all certification and issue Declarations from our head office in Northamptonshire or our facilities in the EU as required. This does not automatically require two different versions of equipment for the two markets. As stated earlier, the rules in 2020 are still aligned, so this is a simple administrative task, however as the standards of each certification differ, we will advise or promote a harmonised methodology that complies with both depending on our client’s preference.
Either way, we’ve got you covered.
Authorised Representative service.
The Market Surveillance Regulation was adopted by the European Commission to ensure the safety of products sold within the European Union. This is to be mirrored in the UK and will operate in the same way. It is part of the Goods package and aims to ensure that products placed on the market are compliant with legislation. Until now, consumers have been considered the importers of the products they buy online. Importers are legally responsible for ensuring that products comply with safety standards, yet most end-users have been unaware of whether the products they buy online are certified as safe or not.
The Market Surveillance Regulation closes this loophole by strengthening controls on products sold in the area in three main ways:
- All non-UK manufacturers must have an ‘economic operator’ in the UK and all non-EU manufacturers must have an ‘economic operator’ in the EU
- Strengthened market surveillance of products
- Stricter controls at the border
EU-based authorised representatives (if appointed before 31st December 2020) can still be used for UKCA-marked products. A UK-based authorised representative must be appointed for new products placed on the UK market after 31st December 2020.
MSCS Ltd can act as your Authorised Representative and hold Technical Construction files.
Holding Technical files.
All CE Marking Directives and Regulations require Technical Documentation/Technical Construction Files to be made available to European Economic Area authorities on a reasoned request. This has been mirrored in the UK/GB in respect to the UKCA marking and requests from the Health and Safety Executive/Trading Standards. Where the Technical Construction File is not held in the area, it can cause problems. From July 2021, EU Regulations on Market Surveillance will require all product suppliers into the EU to have an importer, fulfilment provider or Authorised Representative who will be able to supply the relevant documentation to the Authorities on request.
Although each Directive may have some differences in the requirements, it is generally the rule that the Authorised Representative ensures the documentation is adequate and provides it upon request from an authority within the EU.
An ‘authorised representative’ is a legal party based in the European Union that acts as a liaison between a manufacturer outside of the EU and competent national authorities within the EU.
If you sell into the EU using an importer, the importer has the responsibility to ensure the product is CE Marked and safe. The importer needs a copy of the Technical File. If the importer represents several similar products, this can lead to conflict of interest.
If supplying via a fulfilment centre, the fulfilment centre has the responsibility to supply the Technical File to authorities on request. They should ensure the product is suitable for purpose and CE Marked correctly.
If neither of these alternatives are acceptable, and there is no EU representative, then an Authorised Representative will be required. The Authorised Representative needs a copy of the Technical File, but also needs to ensure it is suitable for purpose, as they have a legal duty to provide it on request, and work with the Authorities to ensure the product is compliant and safe for use within the EU. MSCS Ltd. can act as Authorised Representative for non-EU companies supplying products into the EU.
MSCS operates in the UK and EU and can hold these documents and make it available to authorities. Where needed, we can also review the documentation to ensure it meets the requirements. If any issues are identified, we can explain what is needed in an easy and understandable way. We then provide our details for your documentation as the entity who compiles Technical Files on Declarations of Conformity/Incorporation.