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Britain to retain EU safety mark following calls by businesses

Photo by Yui Mok/PA Wire

By Josie Clarke, PA Consumer Affairs Correspondent

Britain is to retain the EU’s product safety CE mark indefinitely, rather than make its own post-Brexit alternative compulsory, in a move welcomed by manufacturers.

The CE (Conformite Europeenne) mark is used by the bloc to certify that a wide range of items from electrical goods and construction materials to medical devices and toys meet safety standards.

It was to have been replaced by the new UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) mark for goods sold in Great Britain from December 2024.

Businesses had called on the UK Government to extend the use of the CE mark, saying that forcing them to adopt new rules would add significant costs when they are trying to cope with the cost-of-living crisis.

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) said the indefinite extension to the use of CE marking would ensure businesses no longer faced uncertainty over the regulations and could cut back on “unnecessary costs freeing them up to focus on innovation and growth”.

Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said: “The Government is tackling red tape, cutting burdens for business, and creating certainty for firms, we have listened to industry, and we are taking action to deliver.

“By extending CE marking use across the UK, firms can focus their time and money on creating jobs and growing the economy.”

Tina McKenzie, policy chairwoman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “It’s welcome to see the continued recognition of CE marked products.

“This will allow time for small firms to adjust to the UKCA marking system and focus on growing their business both at home and overseas.”

Stephen Phipson, chief executive of Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, said: “This is a pragmatic and common sense decision that manufacturers will very much welcome and support.

“This announcement will help safeguard the competitiveness of manufacturers and aid the UK as a destination for investment.

“It should bring more confidence about doing business in the UK and recognises the need to work with the reality of doing business.

“Make UK has worked extensively with UK Government pushing hard for this decision and we are pleased the ongoing engagement has delivered this positive outcome.”

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