From 1 January 2023, equipment and protective systems intended for the GB market should be conformity assessed by a UK approved body where necessary and should be UKCA marked, not CE marked.
All new products that placed on the market previously would have needed an ATEX Notified Body certificate will need a UKCA Ex Approved Body Certificate (and QAN as applicable)
On 20 June 2022 however the Government announced it intends to introduce legislation which will allow completed conformity assessment activities carried out under EU requirements before 1 January 2023 to permit self-declaration under certain conditions for a limited period. It should be noted however that this legislation has not yet been passed so anyone considering this route is doing so under their own risk. It is planned for the proposed legislation change to be placed before Parliament in the autumn 2022 to give effect to this.
The proposed legislation change will permit ATEX Notified body Certificates issued before 1 January 2023 to be used by manufacturers to declare existing product types as compliant with UKCA (assuming the ATEX Certificates are to the relevant UKCA Designated Standards)
Products must still bear UKCA marking. For ongoing production, they will need to undergo conformity assessment with a UK Approved Body once any of the relevant certification has changed (for example with a variation to the EU-Type examination certificate after 1 January 2023 or the QAN expiring), or after 5 years (31 December 2027), whichever is sooner. This will allow manufacturers to apply the UKCA mark without the need for UK approved body involvement and continue to place their goods on the GB market, based on an existing EU type examination certificate issued before 31 December 2022.
Where manufacturers are using existing ATEX certification completed before 1January 2023 as the basis to demonstrate compliance with UKCA for their products, they should include in the UK Declaration of Conformity the list of relevant UK designated standards and equivalent EU harmonised standards that apply to their product, as well as details of the ATEX Notified Body which carried out the conformity assessment procedures.
If the ATEX certificate was not issued before 1 January 2023, or a variation is issued to that certificate after that date then these products are considered ‘new’ and would require certication by an UKCA Ex Approved Body. This is also the case when the products are manufactured under an ATEX QAN, when the QAN expires the product will require a UKCA QAN issued by a UKCA Ex Approved Body.
Please note that whist this guidance is derived from published UK Government documents and feedback from BEIS, interpretations and legislation may change again before the end of the year!
Sean Clarke CEng MSc FIET is the Managing Director of ExVeritas who a UKCA Approved ‘Ex’ Body, an ATEX Notified Body and IECEX Certification Body.