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What the CE mark extension means for small businesses

2-minute read

Man working on laptop with paperwork
Catriona Smith

Catriona Smith

2 August 2023

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The UK government has confirmed an indefinite extension to the use of CE marking for businesses.

From the end of next year, certain products sold in Great Britain were due to have a new UK safety mark (UKCA).

However, an announcement from the Department for Business and Trade has confirmed that the EU's symbol will be recognised beyond the December 2024 deadline.

Businesses will have the flexibility to choose either the new UKCA marking or CE mark as part of product safety regulations.

What is the UKCA marking?

The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) product marking is the new way some products can be certified for sale in Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland).

The marking shows that the products meet required safety, health, and environmental standards and they’ve been checked by the manufacturer.

This new legislation came in following the UK’s departure from the EU, however the government will still recognise the EU symbol (CE).

CE marking extended indefinitely

The government will continue to recognise CE marking on products sold in Great Britain.

Businesses were able to start using the UKCA mark from 1 January 2021. However, the deadline for using the new marking has been repeatedly delayed over the past few years.

CE marking will continue to be recognised on new and existing products beyond the 31 December 2024 deadline.

The government says this is to help ease the burdens on businesses and cut "barriers and red tape".

Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said: "By extending CE marking use across the UK, firms can focus their time and money on creating jobs and growing the economy."

Tina McKenzie, Policy Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said: "It’s welcome to see the continued recognition of CE marked products. This will allow time for small firms to adjust to the UKCA marking system and focus on growing their business both at home and overseas."

When to use the UKCA mark?

You can use the UKCA mark if your product:

  • is for the market in Great Britain
  • is covered by legislation which requires the UKCA marking
  • requires mandatory third-party conformity assessment
  • has had a conformity assessment carried out by a UK conformity assessment body

If you have an online shop or sell a range of products online, you may need to use the UKCA marking.

For example, the legislation applies to the safety of toys, energy related products like lighting and power adaptors, and personal protective equipment like hats and gloves.

You can find the full list of the product categories that can show the UKCA mark on the government website.

You can also continue using the CE marking.

How to use the UKCA marking

If using it, your UKCA mark should be applied to the product or the product’s packaging. There may be some instances where it needs to be placed in supporting documents like the product manual.

Here are a few things to remember:

  • the UKCA marking must be easily visible and legible
  • it must be at least 5mm in height
  • when applying the UKCA marking you’re taking responsibility that the product meets the requirements

You can download the UKCA marking here.

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For more information, read the government’s guidance on selling products in Great Britain.

You can also check out a schedule of webinars for manufacturers to help you understand more about what you need to do.

Small business guides

Have you got any unanswered questions about the UKCA marking or CE marking? Let us know in the comments.

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Photograph 1: fizkes/
Catriona Smith

Written by

Catriona Smith

Catriona Smith is a content and marketing professional with 12 years’ experience across the financial services, higher education, and insurance sectors. She’s also a trained NCTJ Gold Standard journalist. As a Senior Copywriter at Simply Business, Catriona has in-depth knowledge of small business concerns and specialises in tax, marketing, and business operations. Catriona lives in the seaside city of Brighton where she’s also a freelance yoga teacher.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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