Although the unassuming, some might say uninspiring, design for the new UKCA safety marking might look straightforward, there lies a troubling underbelly of compliance for middle market businesses.
Currently a range of products, such as toys, machinery and electrical equipment, need to hold a pan European quality manufacturing standard known as the CE marking, to be able to trade in the EU. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK manufacturers will then need to comply with the UKCA safety mark for domestic trading, and the CE marking for exporting to the EU – highlighting an increased burden on UK manufacturers.
This is a good example of unintended consequences of the practicalities and burden for middle market manufacturers in a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario. However, there is no guarantee that the introduction of this regulatory hurdle will not apply as part of any Brexit deal – so this stealth burden may happen regardless of the Brexit outcome.
Ultimately, large manufacturers with comprehensive regulatory teams will easily manage this extra compliance; but it is the middle market manufacturers that will be hit harder – adding greater complexity and pressure to limited resources.