Get ready for a new ‘Ex’ mark with the UKCA Ex Scheme, its MANDATORY after this year.
Now that the UK has left the EU, we all must come to terms with what that means on a practical level. In the ‘Ex’ certification world, there are definite challenges as ATEX will not be accepted in the UK next year. If you want to continue to sell Ex equipment in the UK, you will have to make changes, and these changes may involve getting your equipment certified to the new ‘UKCA’ Scheme.
It is now required that ‘Ex’ electrical products for Zone 0 and 1, non-electrical products for Zone 0, all ‘unit verifications’ and certain safety device will require a certificate from a Government Appointed UKCA Body. A UKCA QAN (Manufacturing Quality Audit) will also be required from a UKCA Body for such certifications. In addition, Zone 1 ‘non-electrical’ equipment will require Files to be lodged with a suitably appointed UKCA Body.
Only Bodies that are listed on the UK Government Website can issue UKCA EX Certificates where that previously required a Notified Body. ExVeritas are one of only about half a dozen companies in the world who are Government Appointed to issue these certificates, so it is going to get very busy.
In many cases the process is quite painless and often only a paperwork exercise, but the UKCA QAN Audit does also have to be conducted before you can manufacture equipment. This will be necessary to apply the UK Appointed Body Number on the label under the UKCA Mark (as it was before with the CE Mark).
It is also worth noting that the UKCA Certification will be issued against the list of UK Government Designated Standards. As it is a new scheme, all products will normally need to be to the latest Standards as published on the UK Government Web Site. I recommend all manufactures who want to remain on the UK ‘Ex’ market start the process immediately.
Full details and links to all the referenced UK Government sites can be found at www.exveritas.com in the help section (free guides).
Sean Clarke is the Group Managing Director at ExVeritas, a UK Government Appointed Body for UKCA Ex Certification, ATEX Notified Body and IECEx Certification Body.