The UK’s exit from the EU meant that the CE Mark, certifying health, safety and environmental protection for products manufactured to EEA standards, no longer applied to appliances manufactured in the UK after the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020. Therefore the UK government introduced the UKCA Mark as an equivalence for products manufactured in this country, with a certification deadline set for January 2022.
In the catering equipment sphere, first out of the gate to obtain the UKCA Mark was Falcon Foodservice Equipment. MD Peter McAllister detailed: “It proved to be a fairly simple process, as we always take our obligations for compliance extremely seriously so we ensure our technical files are always up-to-date for all of our product range. We also have a close relationship with BSI as our notifiable body and have worked with them for a long time, so we know how each other works, what information is required and the most relevant points of contact within both businesses are.”
Welbilt accelerated cooking brand, Merrychef, too, has obtained the relevant UKCA and UKNI [separate Northern Ireland protocol] Marks. “All our new products in development are being made ready for launch with the new marks,” confirmed vice president and MD Colin Lacey. “The process is clear and understood by our product compliance teams and so has not been an issue for us.”
Lincat was also early to the certification party, ensuring both the UKCA and UKNI Marks were in place for all of its products from December 2020 in advance of the Brexit transition period’s conclusion.
While for Victor Manufacturing, commercial manager Hayley Dean detailed: “As a UK manufacturer, our products are self-declared for CE marking purposes. The move over to obtaining a UKCA Mark is an ongoing project during the government stand-still period. As part of our recent move to larger premises we have been afforded the space to increase the size of our in-house environmental testing chamber. Having access to this facility provides a smooth transition to UKCA approval and ensures that the declaration of conformity can be updated by the government’s January 2022 deadline. To service our Irish and EU customers we will continue to provide the CE marking.”
Others are also in the midst of the certification process, such as Mechline Developments, whose Caterzap fly killer and HyGenikx air and surface sanitisation system are already certified for UKCA in addition to CE. The firm reports that all relevant products will hold dual UKCA and CE marks by the end of 2021, though marketing manager Kristian Roberts noted: “The process isn’t difficult but is time consuming and brings additional cost for the increased requirement of the certifications.”
Likewise, Precision Refrigeration’s MD Nick Williams agreed: “The process hasn’t been too onerous but it is additional cost that we could otherwise do without.” The Thetford-based manufacturer was on course to have all of its products UKCA certified by the end of March.
Hoshizaki Gram is also actively working towards obtaining certification for its portfolio, as well as Electronic Temperature Instruments and sous vide appliance specialist Clifton Food Range, whose MD Melvin Dickson underlined: “It is true to say that the UKCA Mark is for products being sold into the UK and is a replacement for the CE Mark. However, as our products are sold throughout Europe and beyond they will continue to carry the CE Mark. In addition, they will also have UKCA Mark applied as the technical requirements and the conformity assessment processes and standards that are used to demonstrate conformity are largely the same as there were for the CE Mark.”