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4 min read

Everything You Need to Know About UKCA Marking

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Following Brexit, the majority of EU regulations were subsumed directly into UK law, including legislation that directly impacts manufacturing and engineering. As a result, the UK now has its own Electrical Equipment Regulations, Supply of Machinery Regulations and many more that directly impact the manufacturing and sale of goods placed on the UK market. 

This means that all products covered by these UK regulations must carry a new mark; a UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) mark. The new UKCA mark covers most goods currently subject to the EU's CE Marking. But what does this mean for you? And what technology is available to ensure that you and your business are ahead of the game in implementing this change? Keep reading to find out!

 

What is a UKCA Mark?

UKCA mark engraved ablated onto metal

The new term "UKCA" mark is the new product certification system that must now be used for manufactured products sold in England, Wales and Scotland. If you’re selling goods within Great Britain – and they previously needed the CE mark – then yes. As well as goods that have previously needed the CE mark, it’s needed on aerosols which previously needed a ‘reverse epsilon’ marking, as shown below.

 

Inverted Epsilon Reverse EU Marking Aerosols

The manufacturer or their authorised representative will be responsible for applying the UKCA mark to the product, which is the same principle as CE marking but for the British market.

So, are there any differences between the requirements for CE marking and for UKCA? Not particularly. Products which meet the technical requirements for one will mostly meet the requirements for the other for the foreseeable future. Most of the differences between the two systems are just administrative and reflect the fact that the UKCA mark only applies in Great Britain.

 

When Will I Need to Apply a UKCA Mark to my Products?

 

The UKCA mark came into effect on January 1 2021 once the Brexit transition period ended. However, an adjustment grace period has been allowed so you can still use the CE mark until January 1 2023. You should be looking to change to the UKCA mark as soon as possible though!

You only need to use the UKCA before January 1 2023 if all of the following apply:

  • Your product is for the market in Great Britain
  • It’s covered by legislation which requires the UKCA marking
  • It needs third-party conformity assessment which has been carried out by a UK body

However, the marking doesn’t apply to existing products – products fully manufactured and CE-marked before January 1 2021. These products can still be sold in Britain with a CE marking even if they’ve had conformity checks before January 1 2021.

 

What Technology Can I Used to do This?

We have written a lot on our blog about the capability of laser technology to assist manufacturers with their (often mandatory) asset marking requirements. Laser engraving is a permanent solution which offers a wide range of benefits over more traditional methods of applying marks to products.

Some companies outsource the marking part of their manufacturing process, and this brings its own set of challenges. One of our customers, North Ridge Pumps, purchased one of our N-Lase Desktop systems so that they could bring this function in-house.

Outsourcing your laser engraving can present a number of challenges. Firstly, there is a longer lead time, and this lead time is often variable. Secondly, if there are issues with the files you send over, this begins a process of communication which can be cumbersome and time consuming. Lastly, you cannot always guarantee the consistency and quality of your mark, and if there are issues that need to be resolved this further delays your parts being able to leave the factory floor.

Interested in learning more? Why not take a look at our range and the industries we serve:

DOWNLOAD A PRODUCT BROCHURE

 

So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about the introduction of UKCA marks, and how laser technology is a perfect solution. Want to learn more? Contact our team today:

Call: +44(0)1948 660011
Email: info@needhamlaser.com

Made in Britain Laser