On 20 June the UK government announced a change to policy on UKCA marking that addresses some of the concerns of members of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA), which will be considered at the next Technical Committee meeting.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced the new measures on 20 June, which they believe will make it easier and cheaper for businesses to comply with the UKCA regime:
• Reduced re-testing costs for UKCA certification, by allowing conformity assessment activities for CE marking completed by the 31 December 2022 to be used by manufacturers as the basis for applying a UKCA marking. This will reduce the immediate costs faced by manufacturers and will be valid until the expiry of their certificate or for 5 years (31 December 2027), whichever is sooner. This will reduce duplication and costs for businesses and by extension, consumers.
• Making clear there is no need to re-test existing imported stock, as these products will be considered already placed on the market In Great Britain (GB). This will prevent the costly, and unnecessary re-labelling of existing stock for businesses.
• Making clear that spare parts that repair, replace or maintain goods already on the GB market can meet the same requirements that were in place at the time the original product or system was placed on the GB market. This will allow products and goods requiring spare parts to continue to be maintained.
• Continuing to allow businesses to affix the UKCA marking, and to include importer information for products from EEA countries (and in some cases Switzerland), on an accompanying document or label until 31 December 2025. This will allow business to adjust their product design to accommodate marking changes at a convenient and cost-effective time.
Full guidance on UKCA marking is here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/placing-manufactured-goods-on-the-market-in-great-britain.
LEEA membership’s previous concerns surrounding the introduction of UKCA marking for small and forged lifting accessories were initially highlighted by the Association’s Technical Committee. These included increased costs; the post manufacture stamping of millions of products, which will become unintelligible as they are worn away; the damage to the integrity of products, which may result in stress weaknesses with potential consequences of injury and fatalities. Marking by an added plate or equivalent also presented difficulties with an additional plate possibly being detrimental to the safe use of the product.
Following correspondence between the Minister and the LEEA CEO Ross Moloney, and with the support of local Huntingdon MP, Jonathan Djanogly, Moloney met with policy advisers to Paul Scully MP, Minister for Small Business Consumers and Labour Markets, where LEEA engaged in constructive dialogue and made the above case.
Ross Moloney said: “LEEA is grateful for the change made to UKCA marking and will now consider if they go far enough. We’re glad to have represented our members’ concerns, raised via our Technical Committee, by putting the case to BEIS and acknowledge the support of those in Whitehall. I would suggest members digest these changes and provide me with your feedback for our on-going discourse with UK government.”