The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) has announced an indefinite extension to the use of CE marking for businesses, applying to 18 regulations owned by DBT.
This comes as part of a wider package of smarter regulations designed to ease business burdens and help grow the economy by cutting barriers and red tape. Following extensive engagement with industry, British firms will be able to continue the use of CE marking alongside UKCA.
The Business Secretary acted urgently on this issue, to prevent a cliff-edge moment in December 2024 when UKCA was set for entry. This intervention will ensure businesses no longer face uncertainty over the regulations and can cut back on unnecessary costs freeing them up to focus on innovation and growth.
Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said: "The Government is tackling red tape, cutting burdens for business, and creating certainty for firms – we have listened to industry, and we are taking action to deliver.
By extending CE marking use across the UK, firms can focus their time and money on creating jobs and growing the economy."
Tina McKenzie, Policy Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said: "It’s welcome to see the continued recognition of CE marked products. This will allow time for small firms to adjust to the UKCA marking system and focus on growing their business both at home and overseas."
Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation said: "This is a pragmatic and common sense decision that manufacturers will very much welcome and support. This announcement will help safeguard the competitiveness of manufacturers and aid the UK as a destination for investment.
It should bring more confidence about doing business in the UK and recognises the need to work with the reality of doing business. Make UK has worked extensively with UK Government pushing hard for this decision and we are pleased the ongoing engagement has delivered this positive outcome."
The extension will provide businesses with flexibility and choice to use either the UKCA or CE approach to sell products in Great Britain.
Commenting on the announcement, Head of Trade Policy, William Bain said: “Businesses will breathe a sigh of relief that the Government has decided to take a pragmatic approach to the safety marking of products sold in Great Britain.
“With inflation still high and interest rates continuing to rise, this announcement will bring some welcome respite. There would be significant costs involved in removing the usage of the CE mark, even for just the UK internal market.
“BCC research carried out in 2021 found that only 8% of business were in favour of getting rid of the current EU marking system, called CE, by the start of 2023, and 59% of businesses, affected by the decision, wanted to keep it.
“They saw strong benefits in retaining the most recognised system for testing and marking of industrial and electrical goods for business. Having to use two marking systems, one for in the UK and one for the EU market, would have also led to limited choice for customers if firms decided not to do both.
“This outcome means businesses will be able to decide which system to use, or both. This will also help firms in Northern Ireland and Great Britain in terms of the operation of the Windsor Framework.
“The BCC strongly made the case for continued use of CE marking to Government for more than two years. It is a relief to see the strong voice of businesses across the UK being acted upon.
“Now we must develop processes for regulatory co-operation between the EU and UK, so that businesses can avoid any unnecessary cliff-edges on the introduction of future regulations affecting UK-EU trade in goods.”