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This briefing paper considers the UK’s conformity with product standards and safety marking in the lead up to Brexit.

Currently, the CE mark is placed on a wide range of products to show they are compliant with EU regulatory requirements, including: toys, electrical equipment, and machinery. In most cases, the CE mark can be applied to products tested by the manufacturer. However, for some products, there is a legal requirement for the product to be assessed by a third-party assessment body (a “notified body”) to confirm they meet relevant regulatory requirements.

In a “no-deal” scenario, the EU has said it will stop recognising the competency of UK-based notified bodies to assess products for the EU market. In effect, manufacturers who continue to use UK-based notified bodies will no longer be able to apply the CE mark.

The government intends to reclassify UK notified bodies as UK Approved Bodies. These bodies will be eligible to assess products against relevant UK requirements and issue the new “UKCA” mark to compliant products. For a time-limited period, manufacturers will be able to use the CE mark when placing their products on the UK market if their product meets the relevant EU requirements (including products assessed by an EU-recognised body). The government intends to consult with businesses before taking a decision on when this period would end.

UK Products being exported to the EU which currently require CE marking, will continue to require CE marking to demonstrate compliance with the relevant EU regulatory requirements.

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