UK Conformity Assessment Scheme for Marine Equipment: What You Need to Know
The UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) introduced regulations in 2016 to establish the UK Conformity Assessment (UKCA) procedures for marine equipment that is to be placed on board UK flagged ships. This scheme was developed to ensure that, after leaving the European Union, the UK continues to comply with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Conventions requirement of ships carrying safety and counter-pollution equipment that has been approved by the ship's Flag Administration.
Regulations Required for UK Conformity Assessment Scheme
To comply with the UK Conformity Assessment Scheme, marine equipment must meet the requirements established by the following regulations:
The Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Regulations 2016 (2016 No. 1025)
Marine Equipment - United Kingdom Conformity Assessment Procedures for Marine Equipment, Other Approval, and Standards - MERCHANT SHIPPING NOTICE - MSN 1874 (M+F)
United Kingdom Conformity Assessment Procedures for Marine Equipment (M+F) - INFORMATION NOTE - MIN 590
Safety Signage Installed Onboard
The Red Ensign mark of conformity established by MSN 1874 (Annex 1) includes Low-Location Lighting (LLL) components, including escape route and fire-fighting equipment location signs. This is the same scope as the Marine Equipment Directive (MED). To be certified according to the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency, LLL components including escape route and fire-fighting equipment location signs must meet the requirements established by SOLAS 74.Reg.II-2/13, IMO Resolution A.752(18), IMO Res.MSC.98(73)-(FSS Code) 11, and ISO 15370.
Practical Implications to the Market
Effective January 1st, 2023, replacement or newly installed MED approved products are not accepted onboard UK flagged ships. However, already installed MED approved products can still be kept and used onboard UK flagged ships until the end of their operational life.
Once a MED approved sign installed prior to January 1st, 2023, reaches the end of its operational life, it must be replaced with a UK approved sign (MCA certification).
Everlux, a photoluminescent shipboard safety signage manufacturer, was one of the first to initiate its efforts to become certified under the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency Conformity Assessment Scheme back in 2021. As a result, its safety signs and low-location lighting components now feature the "Red Ensign" mark of conformity in addition to the already existing MED Wheelmark.
To validate their choice for Everlux safety signage systems, shipyards and shipowners may request copies of Everlux's UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency certificates as support documentation for their commercial offers, technical specifications documentation, and onboard their vessels.
In summary, the UK Conformity Assessment Scheme for marine equipment is a crucial step for UK-flagged ships to continue to comply with the International Maritime Organization's requirements for safety and counter-pollution equipment. Marine equipment must meet specific regulations to be certified, and Everlux is among the first to carry the Red Ensign mark of conformity on its products.
UK GOV: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/min-590-amendment-5-mf-united-kingdom-conformity-assessment-procedures-for-marine-equipment/min-590-amendment-5-mf-united-kingdom-conformity-assessment-procedures-for-marine-equipment