Government announces new digital labelling for imports

Government announces new digital labelling for imports
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Fri 26th Jan 2024

The government is introducing new legislation to allow for digital labels on imports as part of efforts to reduce red tape for businesses.

Digital labelling will allow businesses to put important regulatory or manufacturing information online rather than having to physically print it on products.

The announcement follows a product safety review consultation which looked at ways to cut costs while benefitting consumers and ensuring the regulatory system is "agile".

Small business minister Kevin Hollinrake said:

"I know first-hand the difficulties businesses face with regulations and red tape, and what we're announcing today will not only ease business burdens and costs but will enable them to spend their time growing their companies and creating jobs.

"We've worked closely with multiple sectors to create policy that works for them and this is another step in the right direction to back British businesses."

Alongside the digital labelling for imported products, ministers also announced that the European Union's CE product safety mark will be recognised indefinitely for a range of additional products including vacuum cleaners and televisions.

This follows confirmation last August that the UK will continue to use the CE mark with an indefinite delay to making UKCA, its post-Brexit replacement, mandatory for businesses.

Business groups complained the change would add extra costs and red tape, particularly for those selling goods in both Britain and the EU who would have been forced to comply with two different systems.

A new 'Fast-Track UKCA' process will also be introduced which will allow manufacturers to use the UKCA marking to demonstrate compliance with either UKCA or recognised EU conformity processes. Where products are covered by multiple regulations, a mixture of both UKCA and CE conformity assessment procedures can be used.

Regulations in scope of the announcement of indefinite recognition of the CE mark are:

Department for Business and Trade regulations:

  • Equipment for use in potentially explosive atmospheres Regulations 2016/1107

  • Electromagnetic compatibility Regulations 2016/1091

  • Lifts Regulations 2016/1093

  • Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016/1101

  • Pressure Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016/1105

  • Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015/1553

  • Recreational Craft Regulations 2017/737

  • Radio Equipment Regulations 2017/1206

  • Simple Pressure Vessels (Safety) Regulations 2016/1092

  • Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011/1881

  • Aerosol Dispensers Regulations 2009/ 2824

  • Gas Appliances (EU Regulation) 2016/426

  • Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008/1597

  • Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for use Outdoors Regulations 2001/1701

  • Personal Protective Equipment (EU Regulation) 2016/425

  • Measuring Instruments Regulations 2016/1153

  • Non-automatic weighing instruments Regulations 2016/1152

  • Measuring Container Bottles (EEC Requirements) Regulations 1977

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs regulation:

  • The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012 ('The RoHS Regulations')

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero regulation:

  • The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products Regulations 2010

Department for Work and Pensions [The Health and Safety Executive] regulation:

  • The Explosives Regulations 2014

Relevant resources

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance journalist and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I'm also Enterprise Nation's news reporter and Bristol Local Leader. I have 20 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from famous names like Sir Richard Branson and Deborah Meaden to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I now freelance for Enterprise Nation as the website's news reporter and as the host of the Small Business sessions podcast. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community in my role as Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I also have strong connections with other major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 100 events including conferences with an audience of hundreds for international brands like Xero and Facebook and live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography.

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