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.
So, what happens now?
Boris and Javid have stated that the UK will not be adopting an alignment approach with the EU. Although we formally leave the EU at 23:00 GMT on Friday 31st January, there is a transitional period in place. This transition period ends in December 2020. Without a transitional arrangement in place the process of replacing the CE mark with the UKCA will begin for industry.
You only have until December to sort your certification!
The formal government advice follows detain that “The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking is the new UK product marking that will be used, subject to parliamentary approval, for certain goods being placed on the UK market if we leave the EU without a deal. Equipment that falls under the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992 -S.I. 1992/3063 (2016/42/EC) is indeed within the UKCA process.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, suppliers in the machinery market will still, in the majority of cases, be able to use the CE marking to demonstrate compliance with the legal requirements and to sell products on the UK market after 31st January 2020. However, in some cases (Notified Body certification) you will need to apply the new UKCA marking to products being sold in the UK. This would end in December 2020.
Using the UKCA marking
The rules around using the new UKCA marking will mirror those which currently apply for the application of the CE marking to machinery. The UKCA Regulations look very much like a “search and replace” exercise on the EU Directives, replacing CE with UKCA etc.
This is extremely important and confirms that whatever happens, the new UKCA process will initially copy the CE marking process. Therefore manufacturers will not have to adopt new rules but simply work under a system with a different title.
However, if products require third party assessment of conformity, and if this has been carried out by a UK conformity assessment body, you will have to apply the new UKCA marking after 31st January 2020 (where required by legislation). For products supplied into the EU, then the certificate of conformity must be transferred to an EU-recognised body. This indicates two separate certifications in the event of no mutual agreement.
Considering the statements of no alignment, this is the likely outcome.
If products currently rely solely on a self-declaration of conformity for the CE marking this will also be available within the UKCA marking based on self-declaration, for those products within scope of the marking. Again, the same basic rules will apply.
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.
CE marking of products assessed by UK conformity assessment bodies
If the UK leaves the EU and does not formalise an agreement, the results of conformity assessment carried out by UK conformity assessment bodies may no longer be recognised in the EU.
This means brand owners must get products assessed and marked by an EU recognised conformity assessment body if you want to sell them in the EU. You could also arrange for assessments to be transferred to an EU-recognised body before the UK leaves the EU.
You should speak to your conformity assessment body (Notified Body) in the UK or an equivalent EU-recognised body about how this can be arranged.
Continued use of the CE marking in the UK
You will not need to do anything for goods that are sold on the UK market before December 2020. These goods can continue to circulate in the UK as they do now without any changes to the marking requirements. They are considered to be “placed on the market”.
After December 2020 you will need to apply the UKCA mark to 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 Hague 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.