BBC Breakfast fail to explain CE Marking or UK CA Marking

Published: February 2, 2019, 09:30am

BBC Breakfast Feb 2nd 2019

BBC Breakfast had a story about CE Marking following Brexit. This 39 second story had several factual inaccuracies. It also failed to mention the main point, which is UK CA marking has been introduced in the UK.

Whilst I agree that CE Marking is something that needs to be discussed, 39 seconds of inaccuracy is not the way to do it and does not show the BBC in a good light. It is sloppy reporting with poor research, certainly not journalism.

CE Marking is NOT issued by the European Union, it is a mark applied by the manufacturer of the product, wherever it is made, supported by a Declaration that the product meets the requirements of relevant EU Directives.

The CE marking is NOT going to change when we leave the EU. Any products sold into the EU or Turkey (Not an EU member), must still carry the CE Marking, so UK manufacturers will still have to apply CE marking and meet the requirements of the Directives.

CE Marking does not show that products meet European Standards, the use of European Normative Standards or EN Standards is voluntary and is one way to show that products meet the requirements of the relevant Directive. Depending on the product, a Notified Body ay test a product against a standard and provide a report to support the compliance, but this is not always required, it depends on the product. There are over twenty Directives that require CE Marking on products.

The statement that the UK will no longer be able to use the CE Marking is incorrect. The UK Government have decided that a UK Marking should be used. The proposal from BEIS states that there will be an 18-month period where CE marking can still be accepted on existing products. On new products, UK marking will be required from 29th March. At the time of writing, the UK Marking has not been published.

The cost of applying the UK Marking will be minimal, as the requirements of the Directives that the manufacturers already should be meeting (but aren’t in every EU country), will not change on Brexit. The Directives have been part of UK Law since their introduction. There will be slight changes in wording of Instructions and Declarations, and the new marking will need applying, but there are no physical changes required to products. (This may change in the future when Directives are updated in the EU, the UK will have to decide whether to update their legislation or not).

As Turkey have adopted CE Marking and are not part of the EU, the CE Marking is something that the UK could continue to use, however BEIS and the UK Government have decided that they want something different.

To put it into context, any manufacturer selling goods into the USA must meet their requirements, or any other country. Only the EU has the CE marking and it will still be applied to goods sold into the EU.

The likelihood is that the UK Marking will be added to the range of other marks that are on most products, including the ones shown in the brief story.

I wrote an article based on what BEIS produced as a draft Statutory Instrument, which lays down what MAY happen, following Brexit. The draft SI does not have all the answers. The focus is on the Machinery Directive, which is my area of knowledge.

It took many hours to research and write this article, it is disappointing to see a 39 second scaremongering story, that is inaccurate, broadcast.