Are you UKCA compliant?

UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking is the UK product marking that is used for goods being placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). It covers most goods which previously required the CE marking. Under the new conformity assessment regime, UK entities that have been considered “distributors” and buying products from an EU seller become “importers”. Put simply, you will become an importer if you’re the entity bringing product into the UK from outside the UK and placing them on the market in Great Britain. (There may be different requirements for Northern Ireland). If this applies to you, it could mean that there are new requirements that you should be aware of. PM covers off the key facts covered by the UKCA marking which came into effect on 1st January 2021.

When did rules apply from for importers?

Technically, Importer requirements took effect  from 1st January 2021 and from that date you can no longer use an EU-based authorised representative if you are placing product on the market in the UK. They must be based in the UK.

Summary for “importers”

What do you need to do if you are classified as an importer?

  • The product needs to be labelled with your company’s details. This includes your company’s name, and a contact address. (Please note that until 31 December 2023 these details can be supplied on accompanying documentation such as a leaflet contained in the product packaging rather than on the product itself).
  • You will also need to ensure that the correct conformity assessment procedures have been carried out and that goods have the correct conformity markings such as the UKCA marking.
  • You must ensure that the manufacturer has compiled the correct technical documentation.
  • The product must be correctly labelled and accompanied by any required instructions and safety information or associated information.
  • You will need to keep a copy of the declaration of conformity for a period of ten years.
  • You must ensure that goods conform with the relevant essential requirements.
  • If the manufacturer isn’t based in Great Britain the name and address of the UK importer must also be displayed on the product, packaging, or associated documentation.


Product Labelling

Product labelling Importers need to indicate on the product the following: their name, registered trade name or registered trade mark, and the postal address at which they can be contacted or, where that is not possible, on its packaging or in a document accompanying the product.

The contact details must be in a language easily understood by consumers, other end users and the market surveillance authorities. This is a clear signal that the authorities will need to know who imported the product so that they can be held to account should there be problems later.

Ensuring the correct conformity assessment procedures have been carried out and products have the correct conformity markings such as the UKCA marking

Before a product is placed on the market, importers need to ensure that the appropriate conformity assessment procedure has been carried out by the manufacturer. You will need to ensure that the manufacturer has drawn up the technical documentation, that the product bears the UKCA marking and it is accompanied by instructions and safety information in accordance with the relevant regulation.

The diligent importer will ask for some or all of the following documentation from the manufacturer. These should not just be taken at face value.

UK Declaration of Conformity (DOC)

This is required for most products that need to bear a UKCA marking and it must be kept for a period of ten years and made available to market surveillance authorities if requested. First of all, check that the DoC does exist. Look out for things like is the manufacturing company name correct, and is it signed by the right person? You will need to make sure it is dated appropriately. If this was dated from five years ago, but the manufacturer only just designed your product, then this could be suspicious. Does it cover the specific product being supplied? This does not mean another that is “similar” to yours – it needs to be the exact same product. UK Declaration of Conformity (DoC) Does it cover all the Directives or Regulations that reasonably apply to the product? There may be several Directives/ Regulations that apply to a more complex product, and it’s a good idea to draw up a checklist to ensure they have all been covered.

What other supporting documents might you need?

This information may vary depending on the product. When this is required, do both the “Type Examination” and “Surveillance” certificates exist and cover the product being supplied (and are consistent with the DoC above)? This is important, as some assessments include things like instructions and packaging, and if the manufacturer changes these to suit a particular importer then the product is unlikely to be covered by the certificate. Is the company issuing each certificate actually a “notified (or approved) body” authorised to issue these documents?

In the past there have been several instances of companies claiming they are notified bodies when this is not the case. These “certificates” are worthless. This is important and something to carefully check. Are the certificates actually genuine? Counterfeiting of test certificates does happen and it is a risk that should be mitigated. A short phone call or email to the notified body or approved body concerned should allow you to verify certificates as genuine. There are also some simple checks that can be performed such as checking for signs of tampering, poor images, incorrect dates or even spelling errors.

Are the technical standards used to show compliance appropriate (from the title) and the latest version? You can check important details like this via sites like the BSI. Challenge the manufacturer to justify themselves if out-of-date standards are being used. Is the “UKCA mark” (by this we mean the logo itself) on the product correctly sized and includes the number of the approved body performing surveillance (and this is consistent with the certificate supplied)? In the case of BSI, for UKCA marking the approved body number is 0086. Each UK notified body has its own number.

Plain English

Remember, importers’ records need to be in English and available for the authorities to inspect. Having the checks mentioned here and ensuring records are well documented will usually make such requests less time-consuming than they may be otherwise

Correct labelling, instructions and safety information

As an importer, you have an opportunity here to ensure the instructions do make sense. You may wish to assemble a product yourself where this applies and see if the instructions allow you to do it easily enough as an example. You should check the safety warnings are clearly stated and appropriate for the product.

What about the presentation and appearance of these? Instructions shall be “easily understood”, and this means legible too. As an importer you have the opportunity to specify a minimum font size that is appropriate for your intended users and make sure that safety warnings are differentiated by the use of larger fonts or bold text. This is also where importers can assert their influence during the purchasing process.

Importers shall place only compliant products on the market

This may sound like an obvious statement, but it is important. Importing a non-compliant product and placing it on the market is an offence. Importers must ensure that they are showing due diligence in this matter.

Assessing the supply chain

And whilst these requirements apply for many products it is always prudent to check whether there are any additional requirements for the product you are importing. One thing that is clear however is that the new UKCA marking will have an impact throughout supply chains. This means you may need to consider how other organisations in your supply chain are preparing themselves for the changes too.

It may be wise to speak to them to understand the actions they are taking. You may need to determine whether product is already placed on the market, or when it is due to be placed on the market as this may affect the new requirements needed to be met.

What about “own-brand” products?

If you supply the product under your own name, then you are considered the manufacturer (regardless of who actually assembles the product) and the responsibility for completing the full conformity assessment process (in this case UKCA marking) falls to you.

For up to date guidance and advice, visit and search Using the UKCA marking to access UKCA toolkits, webinars and timings. For more information, BPMA members can access UKCA guides under

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