International Business News – On June 20, 2022, the UK government announced changes to regulations to simplify the requirements for manufacturers to place products on the UK market. The main changes proposed by the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will be: Reducing the re-test fee for UKCA certification to allow manufacturers to use CE marking conformity assessment activities completed before 31 December 2022 as part of UKCA marking certification base. UKCA certificates certified under this process are valid for the certificate validity date or 5 years (31 December 2027), whichever is earlier.
Clarified that retesting is not necessary for existing stock imports (except Northern Ireland)
Clarify that spare parts used in the UK market to repair, replace or maintain goods already on the market have the same entry requirements as goods (except Northern Ireland)
Businesses will continue to be allowed until 31 December 2025 to affix the UKCA mark on accompanying documents or labels to products and to use importer information from EEA countries (eg. Switzerland).
Below is an explanation of how these proposed changes will affect products placed on the UK market and falling within the scope of the Equipment and Protective Systems for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2016:
Products currently certified by the EU CE type inspection certificate
Before 31 December 2027, any product that currently has an EU type examination certificate (often referred to as ATEX certification) in compliance with Directive 2014/34/EU will not be required to comply with the Regulation 2016 for Special Equipment and Protective Systems for Potentially Explosive Atmospheres (often referred to as UKEX certification) of the British Type Examination Certificate. Products from now until December 31, 2022 to obtain the new EU CE type inspection certificate certification.
Before 31 December 2022, any product that has undergone conformity assessment activities and obtained an EU type examination certificate in compliance with Directive 2014/34/EU, will not be required until 31 December 2027 UK Type Examination Certificate for the Special Equipment and Protective Systems for Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2016 .
Products certified by the new CE EU type examination certificate after December 31, 2022
Any newly certified products that pass conformity assessment activities and receive an EU type examination certificate in compliance with Directive 2014/34/EU after the end of 2022 will need to comply with the 2016 Equipment for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres and The Protection Systems Regulations receive a UK Type Examination Certificate.
Renewal of products certified by EU type examination certificate after 31 December 2022
Any product that undergoes conformity assessment activities after the end of 2022 and requires the renewal of the EU type examination certificate under Directive 2014/34/EU may be subject to the 2016 Regulations for Equipment and Protective Systems for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres the British Type Examination Certificate. Because the current guidelines state that “a product will be considered a ‘new’ product if it has undergone significant changes, in its original performance, use or type,” and what is considered a substantial change will be subjective, this one point needs further clarification. Any changes that require reassessment and/or retesting by a Notified Body may be identified as substantial, however, further clarification is required on this point. Revised regulations may clarify this.
Manufacturers currently holding a Quality Assurance Notice (QAN) issued by an EU Notified Body
Until the EU QAN expires after 31 December 2022, any manufacturer who currently has a Quality Assurance Notice (QAN) issued by an EU Notified Body for Directive 2014/34/EU (which may be referred to as EU QAN) will not be required to be the UK Approval Body issues a separate Quality Assurance Notice for the Equipment and Protective Systems for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2016 (may be referred to as UK QAN). Therefore, they can use the EU QAN as the basis for their UKCA marking until the EU QAN expires (after 31 December 2022). EU QANs generally have a validity period of 3 years, after which they will be considered expired and will need to be re-evaluated and reissued. Once the EU QAN expires (after 31 December 2022) it can no longer be used as the basis for the UKCA mark and a separate UK QAN is required. If an EU QAN is used as the basis for the UKCA marking, the number of the EU Notified Body responsible for issuing the EU QAN shall be marked on the product until that EU QAN expires. After the EU QAN expires, the UK accreditation body will require the UK accreditation body to provide the UK QAN, and its accreditation body number will replace the EU Notified Body number.