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EU Exit updates for e-bikes

< Back | Last revised: 3rd March 2021


 

Disclaimer

The information below summarises the relevant regulations for electric bikes as far as we (The ACT) understand at the time of writing. We believe that the below is an accurate interpretation of what the law states, however we cannot accept liability for any information that is incorrect or has since become out of date. We also cannot police any retailers who conduct any illegal activity either through choice or through ignorance of the law. 


March 2021: EU Vnuk motor insurance law to be removed from British law 

The Vnuk law requires a wider range of vehicles than those such as cars and motorbikes to be insured, including ones previously not requiring insurance, such as golf buggies, mobility scooters, quad bikes and potentially e-bikes.

The Government has now announced the decision to scrap the controversial Vnuk from British law, stating that this change will "reiterate benefits of leaving the EU, as we take back control of our own laws and regulations".

Implementing compulsory third party insurance for those riding e-bikes on pubic land has not been sufficiently proven to be necessary and could have seriously damaged the e-bike market.

More information on the law is on the government website here.

 

UKCA marking

UKCA markUKCA mark As the UK has now left the EU, we now have the introduction of the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking - a new UK product marking that is used for goods being placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). It covers most goods which previously required the CE marking.

This will affect the manufacturing, importing and selling of e-bikes across Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This page details as clearly as possible how retailers will be affected by these changes and what their next steps ought to be.


January 2021 - December 2021 (UK)

The new marking rules don't kick in until the end of the Brexit transition period (31st December 2021), however we recommend that retailers and suppliers start adapting well ahead of that deadline. For the remainder of 2021 e-bikes placed on the market in Great Britain can continue to use CE marking with EU Declaration of Conformity, with UKCA marking and UK Declaration of Conformity in addition to or replacing the CE marking being optional.

January 2022 onwards (GB)

From 1st January 2022 the CE mark and EU Declaration of Conformity will no longer be accepted in Great Britain and the UKCA mark and UK Declaration of Conformity will be required.

Until 31st December 2022 the UKCA mark doesn't have to be on the primary product labelling, it can just be applied in accompanying documentation or a stick-on label.

From 1st January 2023 where the UKCA mark is required it must now be "affixed directly to the product".

January 2022 onwards (NI)

For e-bikes sold in Northern Ireland they must have both the CE and UKCA marking from 1st January 2022. If the e-bike originates in Northern Ireland then this NI-originating CE marking will also still be valid in the rest of the UK.



Responsibilities for manufacturers and importers (UK)

Guidance for placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain for both manufacturers and UK distributors and suppliers can be found on the Government website here.


Manufacturers

Responsible for:

  • ensuring your product complies with the relevant GB rules
  • drawing up documentation such as the Declaration of Conformity and attaining the CE/UKCA marking (EU or UK depending on timescale)

You can delegate some of the duties to an authorised representative - you will need to check the specific regulations that apply to confirm what can and cannot be delegated.


UK distributors and suppliers

You'll need to confirm whether you or your supplier will act as an ‘importer'. You're an importer if you're the first one bringing goods from outside the UK and placing them on the market in Great Britain. If someone has already placed a good on the UK market before you sell it in Great Britain - or if the manufacturer has appointed another UK-based person to carry out importer duties - you will remain a distributor and will not have any additional responsibilities.

As an importer, you'll need to make sure that:

  • goods are labelled with your company's details, including your company's name and a contact address. Until 31 December 2022 you can provide these details on the accompanying documentation rather than on the good itself if you import certain goods from the EEA (and in some cases Switzerland). After 31 December 2022, your details must be affixed to the product or, in circumstances where the legislation allows, on the packaging or an accompanying document
  • the correct conformity assessment procedures have been carried out and that goods have the correct conformity markings
  • the manufacturer has drawn up the correct technical documentation and complied with their labelling requirements
  • you maintain a copy of the declaration of conformity for a period of 10 years
  • goods conform with the relevant essential requirements

You must comply with the above for goods placed on the GB market regardless of whether they are CE or UKCA marked.


Placing goods on the GB market from the EU market if you're a business in NI

If you're a Northern Ireland business selling goods on the GB market that have been supplied to you (as a distributor) from the EU market, you'll become an importer under GB rules. You'll need to make sure:

  • goods are labelled with your company's details (or accompanying documentation depending on the requirement for that good) including with your company's name and a contact address
  • the correct conformity assessment procedures have been carried out and the goods have the correct conformity markings, which will be EU conformity markings
  • the manufacturer has drawn up the correct technical documentation
  • goods conform with the relevant essential requirements, which could be EU requirements that the Protocol applies to Northern Ireland
  • you take action if the good is unsafe by making it safe, withdrawing it from sale, or recalling it