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Understanding UKCA & CE marking


The CE mark is a conformity mark introduced by the then European Economic Community in 1985. It is a legal declaration by a manufacturer that a product complies with one or more European single market directives or regulations. There are some two dozen of these, ranging from medical devices to toys. Products displaying the CE mark must be accepted on the market in all European countries (although national governments retain the ability to regulate how the products are used). 

Following Brexit, a new conformity mark has been introduced in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) to replace the CE mark; this is the UKCA mark. At the time of writing, the two marks are applied in the same way, according to the same standards. 

An important difference is that, where third-party conformity assessment is legally required, this process must be undertaken by an EU notified body for the CE marking and by a UK approved body for the UKCA marking. This may mean repeating testing or certification to maintain the relevant conformity mark.

After the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, the situation regarding CE marking was as follows:

  • Valid CE marking continues to be recognised in GB until the end of 2021.
  • Where the CE marking requires a conformity assessment by a notified body, UK notified bodies are no longer recognised for this purpose; any compulsory conformity assessment supporting the CE mark must have been carried out by an EU notified body. (N.B.: The only exception to this is Northern Ireland, where CE marking supported by conformity assessment by UK bodies can still be accepted, provided that the UKNI mark is applied alongside the CE mark; this CE plus UKNI marking will not be recognised outside Northern Ireland.)

The situation regarding UKCA marking is:

  • UKCA marking is not recognised anywhere in the EU (including the Republic of Ireland).
  • UKCA marking will be the only recognised conformity mark in GB (England, Wales & Scotland) after 31.12.21. (N.B.: The only exception to this is for goods shipped from Northern Ireland to GB. Under the NI Protocol, such goods enjoy “unfettered access” to the GB market and any mark recognised in NI will be accepted in GB. This includes CE and CE+UKNI.)
  • Where UKCA marking requires a conformity assessment by a UK approved body, EU notified bodies are not recognised for this purpose; any compulsory conformity assessment supporting the UKCA mark must have been carried out by a UK approved body.

The principal measures of relevance to doors and hardware are:

  • The Construction Products Regulation 2011 (CPR) and its equivalent in GB, the Construction Products Regulations 2013, as amended.
  • The Machinery Directive 2006 (MD) and its equivalent in GB, the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008, as amended.

The CPR covers all construction products, but only if the product in question is covered by a “harmonised” European standard or a “designated” standard in GB. Currently, this includes external hinged doorsets, industrial doors, garage doors and several hardware items intended for fire and emergency escape doors. Since July 2013, manufacturers have been required to apply the relevant conformity marking [1] and issue a Declaration of Performance for each product. Conformity marking for fire-resisting shutters and external fire resisting pedestrian doorsets became compulsory in November 2019; conformity marking of internal doorsets, whether fire-resisting or not, has, however, been delayed.

The MD covers only machines with a motor of some kind, and this includes all powered doors and gates. Since the mid-1990s manufacturers of such products have been obliged to apply the conformity marking and issue a Declaration of Conformity.

The conformity mark provides evidence that a product meets relevant safety requirements and, in the case of the CPR, accessibility, sustainability, and environmental protection requirements in addition.

The duty to apply the conformity marking applies to the person placing the product on the relevant market, usually the manufacturer. The existence of the mark means that the product is free to circulate on the market. In the case of construction, the legal duties of the builder are covered in national building regulations, not conformity marking legislation. A conformity marked product may be lawfully circulating on the market, but this does not necessarily imply that it is suitable for use on a specific building project. In order to assess this, it will be necessary to compare the product’s declared performance with the requirements of local building regulations.

[1] i.e. the CE marking or UKCA marking as appropriate.

This page updated 12 February 2021

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