UKCA Marking Announcement Gives Respite But Future Clarity Needed

17th November 2022

In this International Trade blog, Nick Patrick (Head of SITC) and William Bain (Head of Trade Policy at BCC) discuss the UKCA marking announcement and what it means for businesses.

Commenting on the announcement of new legislation on UKCA marking, Head of Trade Policy, William Bain, said:

“In the midst of a cost of doing business crisis for many firms across Great Britain, this announcement brings welcome respite from major changes on electrical and consumer products.

“Businesses will be breathing a huge sigh of relief as this decision pushes back costly alterations on product marking that were due to come into effect in a matter of weeks.

“BCC research carried out last year found that only 8% of business were in favour of getting rid of the current EU marking system, called CE, by the start of 2023, and 59% of businesses, affected by the decision, wanted to keep it.

“They see strong benefits in having a single system for testing and marking of industrial and electrical goods for business. Having to use two marking systems, one for in the UK and one for the EU market, will increase costs and also lead to limited choice for customers if firms decide not to do both.

“The BCC firmly believes there should be no changes on product marking until beyond 2026, and for the issue of UKCA and CE certification to be resolved then for all products.

“Today’s push back is a welcome first step, but much deeper engagement with industry is still needed to devise a plan that works to avoid extra costs for both importing and exporting businesses, and consumers.

“Ultimately we also need a system that will avoid any unnecessary future cliff-edges on compliance.”

Nick Patrick, Director of the Sheffield International Trade Centre (SITC) agreed with William, saying:

"This is a brilliant outcome for UK businesses.  SITC has been receiving an increasing number of calls in recent months with business leaders concerned about the changes to standards and marking due to commence on 1st January 2023. Frankly, all businesses find they are troubleshooting on too many fronts now to focus on UKCA.

"The recent switch from Customs Handling Import Export Freight (CHIEF) to the new digital customs declarations service (CDS) is causing headaches as the new system beds in, raw materials supply, the value of GBP, energy costs, staff welfare in relation to the cost of living, safeguarding measures, increased compliance scrutiny by customs authorities, the list just keeps going on!

"SITC have held two International Trade L!ve events covering UKCA in September 2021 and April 2022.  We were in the middle of planning the third International Trade L!ve event covering this topic for mid-December when, fortunately I called William yesterday, and he told me this good, hot off the press news!"

Written by William Bain. Head of Trade Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce with additional comment by Nick Patrick, Director of the Sheffield International Trade Centre.


For more information and any kind of international trade help and assistance please contact the Sheffield International Trade Centre: International@scci.org.uk or call 0114 308 1740

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