A good old government U-Turn, which comes just as you’ve spent a ton of money to comply with rules that aren’t now going to come into effect, is about par for the course these days. Today is no exception. You might be aware that the CE Mark was due to be replaced in the UK by the end of December 2024 and you might have invested in the replacement UKCA Mark. Well bad news, it’s money down the drain as it’s now not going to be compulsory.
Yes, the government has announced today an indefinite extension to the use of CE marking for UK businesses. The extension will provide businesses with flexibility and choice to use either the UKCA or CE approach to sell products in Great Britain… and that’s great if you also sell to the EU.
This comes as part of a wider package of smarter regulations which the government say are designed to ease business burdens and help grow the economy by cutting barriers and red tape. Following extensive engagement with industry, British firms will be able to continue the use of CE marking alongside UKCA.
The Government is tackling red tape, cutting burdens for business, and creating certainty for firms – we have listened to industry, and we are taking action to deliver. By extending CE marking use across the UK, firms can focus their time and money on creating jobs and growing the economy.– Business Minister, Kevin Hollinrake
Now (if you’ve not wasted a ton of money already) this might sound like good news for UK businesses, but it’s actually even better news for Chinese sellers!
Chinese manufacturers created their own China Export logo which is remarkably similar to the CE Mark and fools just about every consumer that buys their tat carrying the logo. While the CE Mark gives some reassurance that a product has met some pretty basic safety certifications, the China Export logo means nothing more than that a product was made in China as cheaply as possible and specifically to sell to the West.
Think you can’t be fooled? Well think again – take another look at the logo at the head of this article and you’ll notice it’s actually the China Export logo – The C is too close to the E. Now you know what to look out for, check the next few products you purchase and start to worry which meet UK (and EU) safety standards and which have you tricked.
Here’s the difference between the CE Mark and the China Export logo with a few extra curves which make them easy to distinguish:
While many businesses will be breathing a sigh of relief that the CE Mark will continue to be accepted within the UK, Chinese manufacturers will be rubbing their hands in glee that their dodgy goods will still be able to slip undetected into the UK market.