Machinery CE and UKCA Marking

The UKCA / UKNI and CE marking process for machinery is a complex one, for example there are the UK Supply of Machinery Regulations to consider along with potentially twenty one EU directives that could apply to machinery, but normally there are no more than three to six directives used on a frequent basis for an average machine. However there are countless standards that can apply to machinery, as well as many local and regional sets of individual country regulations to adhere to. With respect to the UKCA Marking of machinery, the government has the UKCA / UKNI mark was enacted at Midnight on the 31st of December 2021. Currently the UK government is stating that the UKCA marking process of a machine will remain identical to the CE marking process – but this still has the potential to change – especially given that the EU Machinery Directive is in the process of being updated.

We can help and support machine builders and OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), with the original UKCA / UKNI or CE Marking of new machines depending upon where they are located and used, or the new or re-CE Marking of machinery that they have substantially modified or refurbished, and similarly, for ‘End-Users’ of machines, we can support the UKCA / UKNI or CE Marking of newly created ‘complex assemblies’, and the UKCA / UKNI or re-CE Marking of machinery that has been substantially modified or manufactured ‘in-house’, as any machines built in-house for the end-user’s own internal use still legally require a UKCA / UKNI or CE mark depending upon where they are located and used.

The process is complicated, easy to get wrong, and within our peer group we all know that 65% to 75% of any new machines we look at can have a suspect or actual invalid CE mark on them. Therefore a thorough knowledge of all the applicable regulations directives, standards and legislation is essential to get it right, to enable a machine to be appropriately certified, and a legally valid UKCA / UKNI or CE mark applied.

Our consultants are highly experienced in the specific requirements of the UKCA / UKNI and CE marking process and can help right from the start of a machine build project to ensure safety and compliance, specifically helping to ensure that the ‘Essential Health and Safety Requirements’ of the UK Supply of Machinery Regulations 2008 as amended 2011 and / or the Machinery directive 2006/42/EC will be met. We can do this with the provision of design support from the outset, the design and build risk assessment*, verification of compliance to the standards during the build, through to the final verification of compliance with all the applicable standards and regulations, and the creation of the Declaration of Conformity or Declaration of Incorporation at completion.

* OEM's and Machine Builders should note that the latest EU published formal guide to the machinery directive v2.2, now states that HAZOP studies, FMEA studies or similar assessments no longer provide compliance to the machinery directive, and that a formal ‘Risk Assessment’ under the scope of EN ISO 1200: 2010 – Safety of machinery – General principles for design risk assessment and risk reduction, is the only acceptable form of assessment to gain compliance to the directive…

We can also help and support the creation and assembly of the technical file for the machine that is legally required by the UK Supply of Machinery Regulations and the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. We do this by ensuring the technical file contains all the appropriate information to verify the UKCA / UKNI or CE mark – and which must be retained by the machine manufacturer for 10 years after the machine was built.

A last word on the UKCA, UKNI and CE Marking of machinery in the UK.

Our exit from the EU has had an impact on the way we build, certify and export machinery to the EU or build, certify and retain in the UK for our own use.

The UK government have stated that they were “in no hurry to create a new certification process for machinery being used in the UK”. This statement confirmed as far as it could that the current CE marking process would be retained ‘as is’ for UKCA and UKNI marking for the foreseeable future, and the new UKCA and UKNI marks have been legislated in to UK law as a Statutory Instrument (a law), however there will be changes to other pieces of legislation required to fully support this moving forward.

This would make sense so as not to reinvent the wheel, and also to prevent the UK from having two different machinery certification processes to adhere to as this would substantially increase costs – especially when machinery is one of our major exports. Likewise if a new UK machinery certification process was implemented, then machinery made outside the UK would become subject to it making machinery imported into the UK more expensive.

For all practical purposes, the UKCA and UKNI conformity marks and laws came into force on 1st January 2021, however a 24-month transition period was agreed to up until the 31st of December 2022 - which has now twice been further extended to the 31st December 2024 and you can still either CE or UKCA (or UKNI) mark a machine for use in the UK.

However, the current sitaution is that all machinery supplied for first use in the UK after the 1st January 2025 for UK use must be UKCA or UKNI marked... But with politicians being politicians - who knows where we will end up in a few years time in all reality...

When it comes to the machinery standards, the UK regulations now in place accept that existing ISO, IEC and EN standards will continue to be able to be used to support compliance to the UKCA and UKNI mark; however, these are now known as the ‘designated documents’ in the UK... But in the same political manner as for the certification marks, the bigger picture with the 'dedicated documents' for UKCA marking and the EU Harmonised standards for CE marking is that the list is for all essential purposes pretty much one in the same list of IEC, ISO and EN standards...