On 1st January 2021 the new change in UK legislation from CE to UKCA Marking comes into force – David Osborne, CEO of shower designer and manufacturer Roman, explains the change and reveals what action needs to to be taken by manufacturers and final resellers such as retailers.
As the UK leaves the EU in 2021, there is a very important change in mandatory product marking. The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) Mark will be phased in from 1st January 2021 to replace the CE Mark in the UK (this includes England, Wales and Scotland). This will mark a critical change in legislation for trades to be aware of. A transition period will run from 1st January 2021 to ease the changeover to the UKCA Marking, which means all products placed on the market in Great Britain with the CE Mark will remain valid until 1st January 2022. New products launched in England, Wales and Scotland from January 2021 must feature the UKCA Mark. The EU market still requires the CE Marking for products manufactured in Britain and the same applies for the Northern Ireland market, which still require the CE Marking or UK (NI) Marking. The actual testing for conformity remains unchanged at this time across the Marks.
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of manufacturers to ensure their showering products conform to the standard, but the final resellers of the products such as retailers also have a legal responsibility to ensure the products they stock, or are specifying, also conform to the standard. There were 2014 updates for CE Marking itself for manufacturers, suppliers and glass contractors, which includes production audits in addition to CE testing to prove ongoing compliance and individual product traceability over 10 years. At Roman, every product is digitally photographed before final packaging and carries an individual product code for complete traceability.
To check the legitimacy of a CE/UKCA Mark on a product is relatively straightforward as Manufacturers or suppliers must make the declaration of performance available to their customers, therefore making it available for everyone to see. Best practice conformity is to show CE/UKCA marking details within their literature; their individual product instructions manuals; and on their website. In line with the standard, they should also display their CE/UKCA documents for each product on their website, so customers can have quick and easy access to this information.
It must be stressed that the CE/UKCA Marking is a mandatory legal requirement with enforcement. Two of the common misconceptions are that it is something that the manufacturers would resolve if there was a problem; and secondly, saying that you conform is one thing, but proving you conform is actually what CE/UKCA Marking is all about. There are still many non-compliant products out there and there are huge consequences for the seller of the non-compliant product. The internet and the lower end of the market have been prospering by openly selling a wide array of non-compliant products. Large fines and imprisonment can be the ultimate result for knowingly selling non-conforming products, so it is strongly urged that retailers ask the right questions around CE/UKCA marking to all their suppliers.