The Government has delayed the introduction of the post-Brexit UKCA product safety mark until 2025 – the third time this has been delayed.
After Brexit, the Government said it wanted the UK to have its own British equivalent of the EU’s “CE” quality mark, which assures the safety of electronic, industrial and consumer goods.
The original implementation date was January 2022.
The latest delay means the scheme will now come into force at the start of 2025 – the third delay in two years.
The delay means the UK will continue to accept goods stamped with “CE” certificates from EU countries until the end of 2024, with those certificates remaining valid until the end of 2027.
Kevin Hollinrake, a junior minister at the business department, said the UKCA changes had been agreed to provide “flexibility” for industry and to “reduce immediate burdens and costs for businesses” given the poor economic outlook and continuing global supply chain problems.
Business group have repeatedly poured cold water on the UKCA mark, saying it is unnecessary given the ubiquity of the CE mark.
Only 8 per cent of businesses were in favour of getting rid of the current CE marking system, according to research carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce last year. And 59 per cent of businesses affected by the decision were in favour of keeping it.
The BCC welcomed the delay but said it should be pushed back even further to 2026. This would give time for a long-term solution where Britain recognises EU equivalence to avoid extra costs for both importing and exporting businesses.
“Ultimately we also need a system that will avoid any unnecessary future cliff-edges on compliance,” said the BCC’s head of trade policy William Bain.
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