Changes to Machinery Conformity Assessment in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) leaves the European Union (EU) on 31st December 2020. During 2020 the rules under the EU have remained valid with respect to conformity assessment to the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC.

Changes to Machinery Conformity Assessment in the United Kingdom

What happens in 2021?

The UK government has published guidance on the switchover from the EU on 1st September 2020 with respect to the conformity of products that would previously have been CE marked.

The new system covers most goods which would have been previously required CE marking. This includes machinery equipment.

The UK now has the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark for Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and the UK(NI) marking for Northern Ireland.

What does this mean for equipment owners / manufacturers?

This means that machines or machine assemblies used or sold in Great Britain (GB) must have the UKCA attached as per the current requirements with CE marking, under the member state legislation. In the UK this is the Provision of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).  

Crucially, machine manufacturers outside of GB will also need to apply the UKCA mark.

In Northern Ireland the CE mark or UK(NI) mark needs to be applied to the machine or machine assembly.

Are the technical requirements different?

Initially the technical requirements for the evaluation of the mark are identical between the two schemes. However, if the EU requirements change then these may not be reflected in the UKCA technical requirements in the future.

It remains the responsibility of the declared manufacturer to ensure that the technical requirements have been met.

The equivalent UK legislation to the ‘Machinery Directive 2006/42 /EC’ will be the ‘Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008’. The referenced standards will become the BS equivalent of all standards currently referenced as EN standards.

Is there a transition period?

For machinery CE marked equipment can still be sold within Great Britain (see above for NI) until 1st January 2022. After this point CE marked equipment only will not be recognised in Great Britain.

If a device bears a CE mark and UKCA mark, then this will be acceptable for sale in Great Britain.

How can ESC help?

ESC has extensive experience in machinery safety documentation, including creation of technical files for companies against the CE marking requirements.  From January 2021 this will also include creation of technical files for the UKCA mark.

Other safety documentation includes Machinery Risk Assessments (to ISO 12100), Control Risk Assessments (to ISO 13849 and IEC 62061), PUWER assessments  and calculations of achieved machinery safety (PL or SIL). 

Visit our dedicated ESC Machinery Safety website today or contact us on for more information.