As the good ship Brexit sets sail next month, the replacement of two letters – CE (Conformité Européenne) – with four – UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) – will commence on 1 January for machine tools in respect of supply to Great Britain. It’s not an abrupt change, there’s a transition period and some qualifications, but from 1 January 2022, the UKCA regime becomes the requirement for machine tools placed on the GB market. Northern Ireland retains the CE marking regime, although Howard Wheeler, senior consultant at Finch Consulting ( ), says there is talk of a UKNI mark but that the situation is fluid and there is no detail.

Government guidance on placing goods onto the Northern Ireland market ( ) indicates that the question of regulatory alignment can be revisited every four years by “elected institutions in Northern Ireland”, with the first date being 2024.


Just as a recap, the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC ( ) is part of the EU’s economic legislation. It applies to products designed to be sold (or enabled) in the European Union for the first time.


To help explain the situation, the Engineering And Machinery Alliance (EAMA) put on a webinar recently ( ), with representatives from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in attendance. EAMA is a non-sectoral organisation whose members work across multiple industrial areas. MACH exhibition organiser and representative body the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) is an EAMA member, for example, and many of the MTA’s members supply metalcutting or metalworking machine tools, which fall within scope of this new safety compliance/marking regime.


The government’s website ( ) on matters UKCA dryly states what will be required under the new regime. “You will need to use the new UKCA marking immediately after 1 January 2021, if all of the following apply to your product: it is for the GB market; it is covered by legislation that requires the UKCA marking; it requires mandatory third-party conformity assessment [by a Notified Body]; and where conformity assessment has been carried out by a UK conformity assessment body and you haven’t transferred your conformity assessment files from your UK body to an EU-recognised body before 1 January 2021.”

Quote from Yamazaki Mazak: "Mazak has the authority to self-certify all machines in Japan and UK HQ. In the present state of Brexit negotiations, with what we know now, there will be no change to our processes between now and December 2021.

In Jan 2022, under the current guidelines, we will dual-mark all machines with CE and UKCA certification to ensure the safety of all machines, regardless of where they are being produced (Japan, UK) and where they will be sold (GB or Europe)."

electric-bike-chinaMountain-electric-bikeelectric-bikeelectric-bike-chinaelectric-bike-licensedenzel+electric+bikeelectric-bike-and-city-trafficfreego-electric-bike27.5Inch-electric-bicycledenzel+electric+bikeMountain-electric-bicycleride-a-electric-bike ), but for UK companies placing goods on the EU market from that same date, such UK bodies will no longer be recognised in the EU. (There is a potential muddying of the waters in that mutual recognition could still be part of any UK-EU deal.) Emphasises Gambell: “So companies do need to be making sure you’re taking steps to ensure compliance with the EU requirements by the end of this year, ready for the first of January.”


All Machinery would observe is that the official online Machinery Directive ( ) runs to some 28,000 words and that strict adherence to it might be expected during border checks made as goods pass from Great Britain into the EU/EEA. Perhaps the ‘Guide to application of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC – Edition 2.2’ ( ) will become a more interesting read for some; that’s over 180,000 words, however – a good Christmas read, then.


Wording in ‘Guidance to the Machinery Directive’ ( ):




Guidance to the Machinery Directive ( ) states that, in general, the directive “does not apply to the placing on the market of used or second-hand machinery”. It continues: “In some Member States, the placing on the market of used or second-hand machinery is subject to specific national regulations. Otherwise, the putting into service and use of second-hand machinery for professional use is subject to the national regulations on the use of work equipment implementing the provisions of Directive 2009/104/EC.” The UK’s ‘The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998’ derives from that very directive.


electric bike and city traffic,New UKCA-related videos from Finch Consulting's Howard Wheeler are now available, since completion of this article