At this current time, the UK is in a transition phase where EU legislation still applies until the end of December 2020. It is almost certain that after this date the UK will adopt its own legislation with regard to placing PPE goods onto the UK market. The European PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 will be brought into UK law to become the UK PPE Regulations. For category II and III PPE (such as safety footwear) third party certification will be required and all categories of PPE will need to be marked with a new UKCA mark. The process will be very similar to that currently used for CE marking and for categories II and III will require the manufacturer to work with a UK “Approved Body” such as SATRA.
It is anticipated that from 1st January 2021 the UK will adopt its own PPE legislation which will involve the use of a new ‘United Kingdom Conformity Assessed’ (UKCA) mark, which will need to be placed on products as a means of showing conformance with applicable UK legislation. Unless you have a CE certificate from a EU27 Notified Body, you will need to affix the UKCA mark to goods placed on the GB market after 1st January 2021. It is important to note that CE certificates issued by Notified Bodies in the UK will be invalid from 1st January 2021. If, however, you have an EU27 Notified Body certificate, such as one issued by SATRA Technology Europe Ltd, you can continue to affix the CE mark to goods for the UK but this transition only runs until the end of 2021. After this time it will only be possible to place UKCA marked products on the GB market.
On 1st January 2021 SATRA Technology Centre Ltd in the UK will become a UK Approved Body, able to issue UKCA certificates, with the reference AB0321 where the prefix ‘AB’ denotes ‘Approved Body’. SATRA will continue to offer CE marking services through SATRA Technology Europe Ltd which will remain a Notified Body (number 2777) based in Ireland (an EU-27 member state). SATRA will therefore be able to offer both CE and UKCA marking.
It is important to note that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will not affect the validity of existing or future test reports issued by SATRA’s testing facilities in the UK. These test reports will continue to be accepted for certification purposes by SATRA Technology Europe Limited and other PPE Notified Bodies. This is because testing that supports PPE certification does not need to be carried out in the EU.
The SATRA PPE team have put together a webinar on ‘The UKCA Marking of PPE’ which explains what these changes mean and how it can affect businesses within the industry and discusses the implications across supply chains. See the webinar on https://www.satra.com/resources/ppe.php