There is a proposed amendment to the UKCA legislation, being circulated that has not yet been voted on by the UK Government. If the vote passes in the autumn, the legislation will be changed to allow EU Notified Body ATEX Certificates (aligning with UK Designated Standards) to be used in lieu of UK Approved Body certification.
Products that are currently ATEX approved or that have their ATEX approval completed before 31st December 2022 will be allowed to have this approval used as the basis for their UKCA marking, as required for applicable products sold into Great Britain from 1st January 2023.
The UKCA marking may take the form of a label applied to the product or be shown on accompanying documentation until 31st December 2025, after which, the marking should appear integral to the product.
The ATEX approval will remain valid as the basis for the product’s UKCA marking until the current certification expires or until 31st December 2027, whichever is sooner.
Likewise, an EU QAN (Quality Assurance Notification) may be used as the basis for UKCA marking until it expires, after which, a separate UK QAN will be required. As a QAN usually expires after 3 years, a UK QAN will need to be in place long before 31st December 2027 product deadline.
Regarding product modification, it is stated that: “if the product has been subject to important changes … it will be considered as a new product”. It would then require formal UKEX approval to allow the UKCA mark to be used. What is deemed to be a substantial change will be subjective. Further clarification will be required.
When ATEX approval / EU QAN is used as the basis for the UKCA marking, the Notified Body / Approved Body 4-digit number should not be marked adjacent to the UKCA marking on the product. Hence this effectively becomes a self-assessment by the manufacturer, similar to the self-assessment of an ATEX Zone 2 mechanical product, for example.
As applying the UKCA mark is based on compliance with UK Designated Standards, which are all to the latest versions of the Ex standards*, a manufacturer whose product is not approved to the latest versions would effectively be self-declaring that their product meets any updates to the relevant standards.
*Terminology: note that for ATEX, a Notified Body carries out an EU Type Examination working to Harmonised Standards. For UKEX, an Approved Body carries out a UK Type Examination to Designated Standards. Currently both the Harmonised and Designated standards follow the same EN 60079 and 80079 series of documents, with UKEX referencing only the latest versions.
Glynn Warren – Product Specialist – Exloc Instruments UK Ltd