With the end of the transition period and the UK’s formal exit from the EU there have been some changes to the rules and procedures that affect certain activities and industries, in particular chemical industries and the placing of “civil explosives” (e.g. explosives used for blasting in mines, quarries and demolition) on the UK market.
Guidance on these changes can be found on the HSE’s website at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/brexit/index.htm
The change that may be noticed by the widest number of people is the phasing out of CE marking and the introduction of the UKCA and UKNI marks.
In summary before they can be placed on the market, manufactured goods need to be designed and manufactured so they meet certain minimum safety standards and they must carry a marking, either on the item itself or in some cases on the packaging, to show that they meet these standards. Throughout the EU this is achieved through a conformity assessment process and the application of CE marking.
For products being placed on the market in Great Britain (i.e. England, Scotland and Wales) CE marking is being phased out and a new similar UK Conformity Assessment process is being introduced, requiring a UKCA mark instead of the CE mark.
The UKCA marking came into effect on 1st January 2021, however there is a transition period and in most cases manufacturers and suppliers can continue to use the CE marking until 1st January 2022. Also existing stock does not need to be re-marked. After 31st December 2021 CE marking will not be recognised in Great Britain in most cases.
The situation in Northern Ireland is slightly different, here the Northern Ireland Protocol means that EU conformity markings, e.g. CE marking, will continue to be used to show that goods meet EU rules, however in some cases a UKNI marking will also be required.
Clearly these changes will have the biggest impact on manufacturers and suppliers. It is important to note that the essential duties and responsibilities placed on employers regarding the safety of work equipment have not changed, however you should be aware of these changes. We would recommend that if you refer to CE marking in any policies and procedures you use, then these should be updated to reflect the new system.
You can find more about the new requirements on the HSE website as above and on the Gov.UK website at:
England, Scotland and Wales: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-the-ukca-marking
Please speak to your normal PIB Risk Management contact or get in touch using firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding machinery safety.