What Is The UKCA Mark And How Does It Affect Toy Makers?
Today marks the start of Child Safety Week, run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust. At Bigjigs Toys, toy safety is paramount to everything we do to ensure accidents Don't happen. Did you know that the famous CE Mark seen on toys has been replaced with the new UKCA Mark?
That's right, now that the UK has left the European Union there's been a few changes to Toy Safety. Different toy safety symbols need to be applied to toys, depending on where they're being sold to and from. Here's everything you need to know about the new UKCA Mark and how it affects the toy market.
What does UKCA stand for?
UKCA stands for UK Conformity Assessed marking. The UKCA Mark is a new product marking for goods placed on the market in Great Britain. It came into effect on 1st January 2021 and replaces the CE Mark. To allow businesses to adjust accordingly, you will still be able to use the CE marking until 1 January 2023 in most cases.
What Will Replace CE marking?
When the UK was in the European Union, all toys had to have a CE Mark. This showed that the product had met the EU health and safety standards. Following Brexit, Great Britain now has its own version: the UKCA Mark.
This has replaced the CE Mark for all goods entering the market in Great Britain. However, the CE Mark must continue to be used for UK toys marketed to the EU. Bigjigs Toys will use the CE Mark alongside the new UKCA Mark so you will still see it on all our packaging.
Any stock made and listed for sale in Great Britain before 1st January 2021 can still be sold with the CE Mark on it. Any existing other stock can still be marketed with the CE Mark until 1 January 2023 in most cases.
As of 1st January 2021, there are some new rules for toy safety symbols for self-certifiers and lab-tested toys.
- All new toys made in Great Britain must have the UKCA Mark. It must be attached to the toy as a label. If this isn't possible, it must be put on packaging instead
- The CE Mark can be placed along with the UKCA Mark unless toy standards change
- Toys must be tested in a UK notified lab and be labelled with the UKCA Mark
- Toys being sold within the EU must be tested in an EU notified lab and labelled with the CE Mark
Northern Ireland Toy Safety
The rules are a little different for Northern Ireland. If you're selling from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, you can continue to sell your toys with the CE Mark if...
- You're self-certified
- Your toys were certified in an EU notified lab
- Your toys were certified in a UK lab that's been transferred to an EU one
- Your testing was carried out in a UK lab and has both the CE and UKNI mark
Toys being sold from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will still need the CE Mark as the UKCA Mark is not applicable. Lab-tested toys in a UK notified lab require the UKNI and CE Marks. If toys are being sold from an EU notified lab, it only needs the CE Mark.
Do I Need To Use The UKCA Marking?
If you're selling toys within Great Britain that previously required the CE Mark, yes - they now need the UKCA Mark. There's an adjustment period that allows you to use the CE Mark until 1 January 2023 in most cases. Getting your toys changed to have the UKCA Mark as soon as possible is recommended.
At Bigjigs Toys, we're passionate about learning through safe play. We're serious about toy safety testing and play value. This is why our toys exceed the BS EN71 safety standards and conforms to REACH regulations.. We use child-friendly paints and lacquers as well as high-quality, responsibly sourced materials.
We began the process of adding UKCA Marks to all Bigjigs Toys branded packaging in May 2020. All of our product packaging carries both the UKCA and CE Marks. You can read more about our commitment to toy safety here.