Posted: Tue 1st Aug 2023
The UK will continue to use the European Union's product safety mark after the government announced an indefinite delay to the introduction of its post-Brexit replacement.
Following pressure from manufacturing groups, the Department for Business and Trade said British businesses will be able to use the EU's CE (Conformité Européenne) marking, which ensures products meet safety standards, beyond December 2024 when UKCA was set to come into force.
UKCA was originally due to be introduced for goods sold in Britain on 1 January 2022. It was then extended to 1 January 2023 followed by another delay until the end of next year.
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.
Announcing the indefinite delay to UKCA, small busness 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".
The change was welcomed by groups including manufacturing organisation Make UK. Chief executive Stephen Phipson said:
"This is a pragmatic and common sense decision that manufacturers will very much welcome and support. This announcement will help safeguard the competitiveness of manufacturers and aid the UK as a destination for investment.
"It should bring more confidence about doing business in the UK and recognises the need to work with the reality of doing business. Make UK has worked extensively with UK government pushing hard for this decision and we are pleased the ongoing engagement has delivered this positive outcome."
Today's announcement follows several other delays to the introduction of post-Brexit rules.
New customs requirements for goods being exported to the UK from the EU have been postponed four times and then scrapped with the government instead publishing draft proposals for the Border Target Operating Model.
The changes are due to be introduced in stages, starting in October 2023.