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Placing civil explosives on the market after Brexit

The UK has left the EU, and some rules and procedures changed from 1 January 2021. This guidance will explain how you may be affected.

The Explosives Regulations 2014 (as amended) state that economic operators must not place, or make available, civil explosives on the market unless they conform with certain requirements, including meeting the essential safety requirements, conformity attestation against the relevant tests and correct application of the UKCA mark. Information on the conformity assessment process.

Economic operators have duties when a civil explosive is not in conformity or presents a risk. Further information is available.

Civil explosives placed on the market before 1 January 2021

If you placed your civil explosives on the UK market (or in an EU country) before 1 January 2021, you do not need to do anything new. These individual goods can continue to circulate on either market until they reach their end user and do not need to comply with the changes that took effect from 1 January 2021.

A civil explosive is ‘placed on the market’ when a written or verbal agreement to transfer ownership or possession or other rights in the product. This does not require physical transfer of the good. You can usually provide proof of placing on the market on the basis of any relevant document ordinarily used in business transactions, including:

The relevant economic operator (whether manufacturer, importer or distributor) bears the burden of proof for demonstrating that the goods were placed on the market before 1 January 2021.

CE-marked civil explosives on the GB market

When we refer to placing civil explosives on the market in Great Britain (GB): Great Britain is England, Wales and Scotland.

CE-marked civil explosives that continue to meet EU requirements (where these match UK requirements) can be placed on the GB market until 31 December 2021 for as long as EU and UK requirements remain the same. This includes goods which have been assessed by an EU recognised notified body.

Further guidance on placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain from 1 January 2021 is available from GOV.UK.

The UK Conformity Assessment Mark (UKCA)  

From 1 January 2021, the UK Conformity Assessment (UKCA) mark is the conformity assessment marking for civil explosives being placed on the market in GB and started to replace CE marking for civil explosives placed on the GB market.

The UKCA mark, instead of CE marking, must be used on all civil explosives placed on the market from 1 January 2022.

The UKCA mark can be placed directly on the civil explosive product or on an accompanying document until 31 December 2022. From 1 January 2023 the UKCA mark must be placed directly on the civil explosive product itself.

The UKCA mark is not recognised for civil explosive products being placed on the EU market

Using the UKCA marking

You need to use the new UKCA marking from 1 January 2021 if all of the following apply. Your civil explosive:

This does not apply to your existing civil explosives stock, for example if your civil explosive was fully manufactured and ready to be placed on the market before 1 January 2021: in these cases your civil explosives can still be sold in GB with a CE marking even if covered by a certificate of conformity issued by a UK body.

Further information on using the new UKCA mark is on gov.uk.  

Explosives Approved Bodies

From 1 January 2021 UK-based ‘Notified Bodies’, who did not choose to continue to also meet EU requirements, transferred to become UK Approved Bodies under UK legislation.

UK Approved Bodies are responsible for conformity assessing products for the UK market and awarding the UKCA mark. The conformity assessment procedures remain the same as those required for the CE marking.

All UK Approved Bodies are also Notified Bodies for goods being placed on the Northern Ireland market. The UK Approved Body assigns the UKNI mark to these goods.

The Explosives Notified Body (ENB), operated by HSE, became the UK Approved Body appointed for the conformity assessment of civil explosives from 1 January 2021.

Further guidance on how conformity assessment bodies are affected from 1 January 2021 is available on GOV.UK.

Designated Standards for Civil explosives

From 1 January all the existing harmonised standards for civil explosives that give a presumption of conformity to EU essential safety requirements, became GB’s Designated Standards. The references to the civil explosive designated standards are published on GOV.UK. Businesses are be able to use designated standards as a way of continuing to demonstrate conformity with the Explosives Regulations 2014 (as amended).

From 1 January the EU’s Harmonised Standards remain the relevant standards for placing civil explosives on the Northern Ireland market where EU rules continue to apply.

Placing manufactured goods on the market in Northern Ireland from 1 Jan 2021

Guidance on What you need to do to place manufactured goods on the NI market and guidance on using the new UKNI mark is on GOV.UK.

Manufacturers, suppliers and distributors

Manufacturers’ legal obligations remain unchanged from 1 January 2021.

You need to check whether you or your supplier became an importer after 1 January 2021.

You will have become an importer if you’re the one bringing goods into the UK from outside the UK and placing them on the market in GB.

For further guidance on importer duties go to placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain from 1 January 2021

Authorised representatives

From 1 January 2021 if you use an authorised representative or responsible person, they must be based in the UK for explosives being placed on the GB market.

Manufacturers can mandate an authorised representative to keep declarations of conformity, technical documentation and also engage with the market surveillance authority and co-operate with the competent authority on any action taken to eliminate risks posed by civil explosives covered in their mandate.

Updated 2021-01-15