UKCA is the new conformity assessment standard that will be used after the UK leaves the EU on 31st December 2020.
On 31st December 2020 the UK will leave the EU Customs Union and the European Single Market. European legislation requires that products sold in Europe comply with all required applicable product directives. A simple logo was adopted that could be placed on a product to indicate that all the required Directives are met and this is the CE mark denoting Conformité Européenne or European Conformity. Appropriately marked products are allowed free movement across all internal borders.
Once the UK leaves the Custom Union the CE mark will be no longer valid for products sold in the UK to denote conformity with the required legislation. An alternative mark has been devised to take its place and this is the UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) mark. At this point products intended to be sold into both Europe and the UK will bear both marks.
The UKCA mark can be applied to a product on a self-declaration basis in the same way that FRIWO currently applies the CE mark. A UK self-declaration of conformity will be produced for each product to identify which particular piece of UK legislation the product conforms to.
The legislation will initially follow the European requirements meaning that for each European Directive there will be a corresponding piece of UK legislation.
The UKCA mark can only start to be applied to product sold in the UK from 1st January 2021. There will be a grace period of 1 year to allow manufacturers to update existing product labels accordingly. During this grace period, it will be acceptable for products that are sold in the UK to only bear the CE mark. From 01 January 2022, all products sold in the UK will be required to carry the UKCA mark, with products sold in Northern Ireland requiring a UKCA mark one year later, on 1 January 2023.
New products launched on or after 01 January 2022 will be required to carry the UKCA logo from their first launch.