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The deadline for businesses to use the UKCA marking has been extended once again. This means that the CE marking and reversed epsilon marking will be valid in the UK market until 31 December 2024. The move will reduce costs and mean less disruption for businesses. Regulators blame the delay on the economic strife caused by post-pandemic shifts in supply and demand, the war in Ukraine, and high energy prices.
It was full steam ahead for UK and EU exporters and importers before Brexit. However, a barrage of regulations and red tape have made imports and exports into and out of the UK an obstacle course. EORI numbers, entry and exit summary declarations, temporary storage declarations… The list seems endless. But never fear! CPSL’s linguistic services, document management know-how, and regulatory affairs experience will reduce your trade tariffs while maximizing compliance.
UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA)
Currently in the EU, approximately 70% of all products sold must have the CE mark. Fortunately, the CE marking obtained in one EU country is valid in all other EU and EFTA countries. But when it comes to the UK, everything changed with the introduction of UK Conformity Assessed marking (UKCA) and other requirements. The UK-only goods marking (UKCA) was originally due to take effect on 1 January 2021. It applies to goods that previously required the CE marking to be placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland, and their associated islands). These are also known as ‘new approach’ goods.
What’s more, under the EU-UK Trade Agreement, and within the British Isles, UKCA marking alone is insufficient for goods placed on the Northern Ireland market, which requires the use of CE marking to demonstrate conformity with the relevant technical requirements. Furthermore, there are different rules for goods regulated under the old approach, those covered by national rules, and medical devices and civil explosives.
Labelling of aerosols in the UK
One area subject to specific regulation by the UK is the law on aerosols. Schedule 13 of the Product Safety and Metrology Regulation (UK Aerosols Regulation) governs the UKCA mark or reverse epsilon (required under the EU Aerosol Dispensers Directive). Both of these were previously accepted as self-certification that a package fulfilled regulatory requirements, but this is no longer the case, since the reverse epsilon is now meaningless under the UK framework.
Since 1 January 2022, it has been compulsory to switch to UKCA marking, and since January 2023, the UKCA marking has had to be affixed directly to the product.
In addition, paragraph 5A.1.iii states that labels must be “…prepared in or translated into English (unless it is unlikely that the aerosol dispenser will be used in the United Kingdom)…”
Language requirements for importing and exporting goods
The UK government provides up-to-date information for all kinds of businesses wanting to import and export goods into and out of the United Kingdom at https://www.gov.uk/topic/business-tax/import-export. The website has a section entitled notices, forms, and manuals, where it provides forms for import and export; excise notices: storing and moving goods; tariff notices; tariff quota notices; tariff stop press notices; and customs information papers. If you are searching for specific information on importing and exporting medical devices into and out of the United Kingdom, click here.
CPSL has an international team of linguists specialized in sectors and industries that require specific assistance with Brexit-related formalities, including the recently announced rules governing aerosols previously labelled with the reverse epsilon that entered into force on 1 January 2023.
- 1 January 2022: full customs declarations and controls and pre-notification requirements of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods came into force.
- 1 July 2022: certification and physical checks were introduced for all remaining regulated animal by-products, regulated plants and plant products, meat and meat products, as well as all high-risk food not of animal origin. On the same date, high-priority plants and plant product checks started at designated Border Control Posts (BCP).
Physical checks on live animals began at designated border control posts where a facility is operational at the point of entry. Otherwise, checks remain at the destination in other ports of entry until sufficient BCPs are operational. Checks began at the Sevington Inland Border Facility and at designated airport BCPs began.
- 1 September 2022: certification and physical checks were introduced for all dairy products.
- 1 November 2022: certification and physical checks were introduced for all remaining regulated products of animal origin, including composite products and fish products.
- 14 November 2022: UK Business Secretary Grant Shapps announced that the government will continue to recognize the CE marking for 2 years, therefore giving businesses until 31 December 2024 to prepare for the UKCA marking. Businesses also have the flexibility to choose which marking they apply, meaning that they can use the UKCA marking if they wish.
International Road Haulage
The year 2022 also saw the advent of new rules for transporting goods to, through, or within Europe. They affect cars, trailers, vans, and other light goods vehicles, such as those used to provide European courier services, as well as heavy goods vehicles. You must declare that you are transporting goods in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, and since 21 May 2022, you have needed a standard international goods vehicle operator license, not to mention a goods vehicle operator license.
Whether you need to adapt your existing documentation and labels or you are just getting started in the exciting world of importing and exporting within or outside of the EU, the team at CPSL is ready to be your invaluable partner, steering you through the minefield of international trade restrictions with seamless multilingual communication and expertise.
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