Special thanks to Guillaume Baral Marketing Manager at Marechal for writing this for T&D
The content of this article considers the situation in April 2021 for the cases of Low Voltage (LV) electrical equipment in industrial or explosive environments. Regulation may evolve over time and all modifications enforced after April 2021 have not been considered in this article.
In the European Union (EU), CE marking is mandatory for all industrial LV products. Meanwhile, the ATEX Directive including a specific ATEX marking applies for LV products dedicated to explosive environments. The CE marking was recognised in all countries of the EU – including the UK – until the enforcement of the post-Brexit agreement on January 1st, 2021.
Following this date, the trading of industrial and explosion-proof LV products between the UK and the countries still part of the EU is slightly complexified. Manufacturers willing to serve the UK market will have to place a UKCA marking. It should be noted that this will apply to England, Scotland and Wales territories (Great Britain).
As a mean to help the manufacturers in the different areas, the UK government has issued new guidance on placing goods on the market in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and in the EU. The modification of the regulation is progressive and there are several dates which are to be considered.
January 1st, 2021 : UKCA is required in Great Britain. Beginning of the 12-month long transition period in which the CE marking remains valid.
January 1st, 2022 : The CE marking is no more recognised in Great Britain. The only applicable marking is the UKCA marking. One exception remains: the placement of the UKCA marking can be permanent but it is not mandatory. It can be applied on the labels, the packaging or a separate informative sheet.
January 1st, 2023 : The placing of the UKCA marking will have to be permanent.
As a worldwide provider of Low Voltage (LV) solutions, MARECHAL ELECTRIC is directly impacted by these new requirements. MARECHAL ELECTRIC’s approach to comply with the new UK regulation is detailed below.
MARECHAL ELECTRIC has undertaken actions on two main topics: customs administrative formalities and regulatory requirements related to UKCA marking. What follows details how MARECHAL ELECTRIC will fulfil the regulatory requirements.
The MARECHAL ELECTRIC group manufactures plugs and sockets as well as distribution boxes for industrial and Ex environments. For these two types of products, the group will work on separate actions.
The UKCA marking for LV industrial electrical equipment is a self-declaration. For this type of products, it will be applied progressively on the products and placed in addition to the CE marking. The CE marking as well as the ISO 9001 certification of the MARECHAL ELECTRIC production site gives sufficient confidence for the application of the UKCA marking.
The approach for placing the UKCA marking on ATEX products is slightly different since the UKEX certification must be delivered by a third party notified body based in the UK. The notified body also delivers a UKQAN certification for the production quality assurance of the company.
PXN12C Connectors are part of the Marechal Hazardous Area Plug
DECONTACTOR™ is a MARECHAL® technology used on most MARECHAL® plugs and sockets. It uses silver-nickel butt contacts and specific spring-loaded terminals to provide exceptional connection performance and disconnection under load up to 200 A in complete safety.
Among all these families, MARECHAL ELECTRIC will start the product certification process by the DXN1 and DXN3. As most European certification bodies have agreements with UK certifications bodies, the MARECHAL ELECTRIC certification will be done by the usual certification body. It will then be acknowledged by the partner local body.
The certification of the quality system will remain based on European ATEX certification. The UK certification will only be a transfer of certification to the new UK requirements.
Once the product certification is obtained, MARECHAL ELECTRIC will placed the UKCA marking permanently on the products. There are two possibilities explored to this day:
• Add a new marking on existing references,
• Use a new reference with a new marking.
By Thorne & Derrick International