Following on from our blog here on the Northern Ireland Protocol and explaining the introduction of the new UKNI mark, we now have some further clarity on when and how to use UKNI marking via this additional guidance (the "Guidance"). Here's our high-level digest of the key points. However, if this impacts you, we would strongly urge you to read the Guidance itself as it contains a helpful table about which mark is relevant to which market, additional guidance about how it should appear on the product and record keeping.
Further to the Northern Ireland Protocol, which comes into force on 1 January 2021, products being placed on the market in Northern Ireland must continue to meet EU rules, despite the fact that Northern Ireland, as part of the UK, is no longer part of the EU. Some of those products will require mandatory third-party conformity assessments and the UKNI mark indicates where those conformity assessments have been carried out by a UK based body, as opposed to an EU based body.
When should it be used?
The Guidance explains that you need to use the UKNI marking if you meet the following three-part test:
- You are placing certain goods (typically goods subject to the CE marking) on the market in Northern Ireland after the end of the Brexit transition period;
- Your goods require mandatory third-party conformity assessment; and
- You are planning to use a UK body to carry out those conformity assessments from 1 January 2021 (as opposed to an EU body).
The UKNI mark can never be used on its own, and must accompany an EU conformity mark. However, you don't have to have a UKNI mark to sell a product subject to conformity assessment in Northern Ireland. EU conformity assessment bodies will continue to be recognised.
When should it not be used?
The Guidance also explains that you will not be able to use the UKNI marking if either of the following apply:
- You are placing goods on the market in the EU; or
- You are planning to use an EU body to carry out conformity assessments.
Note that the Guidance stresses that if you are placing goods on the EU market, the CE mark should not be accompanied by the UKNI mark as it will not be recognized.
We will continue to watch out for further developments here, and post these on the blog as and where we think these are helpful / clarifying. In the meantime, if you have any queries, please get in touch.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.