With the departure of the UK from the EU the rules around CE marking are changing. On the 1st January 2022 all construction products must carry UKCA marking. Over the past 10 years manufacturers have become familiar with CE marking but it will soon become redundant in Great Britain and replaced by the UKCA mark. Whilst this date is still the matter of some continued debate, the move to UKCA is now inevitable and the construction product manufacturing community has been mandated to prepare for this change before it is brought into law.
The UKCA mark operate in a very similar way to CE marking but instead of using a European Notified Body (NB), manufacturers will be required to have initial type test evidence from a UK Approved Body. Insulated Glass Unit (IGU) manufacturers who have initial type test reports from an EU27 notified body need to approach a UK Approved Body and retest their product range.
This approach reflects the difficulties that UK manufacturers face with when exporting product to the EU. At the beginning of 2021, all UK notified bodies lost their Notified Body status and all test reports issued under Assessment and Verification of Constancy of Performance (AVCP) system 3 also lost their validity, manufacturers must retest product in the EU to continue to affix CE marking.
Alex Lubbock – BSI Global Construction Practice Director commented ‘The situation is understandably frustrating for manufacturers as the test work carried out at former UK Notified Bodies is no longer accepted by EU member states for CE marking under system 3, (and vice versa). This has affected IGU manufacturers, glass producers and window system houses along with many other construction product types.’
It is current government policy that on the 1st January 2022, only a few months away, that CE marking will no longer be accepted in Great Britain. The CE mark is being replaced by the UKCA mark and all manufacturers who are presently CE marking their product must take steps to ensure they can replace this with the UKCA mark.
BSI is well placed to assist manufacturers as we have a notified certification body in the Netherlands to support CE Marking and an Approved Body with a very wide ranging scope here in the UK to support UKCA marking, but time is now very short and IGU testing can take up to 5 months. Any delay in conducting the testing could result in product being placed on the market without the required supporting documents and could lead to negative consequences for both consumers and manufacturers.
We have seen a lot of interest from European manufactures who appear to be taking appropriate action and having their products tested ready for the end of the year deadline, however UK manufacturers who have previously worked with EU NB’s are perhaps not fully aware of the consequences.
As one of the UK leading Approved Bodies BSI can guide manufacturers through the process to achieve UKCA marking, explain the new requirements and provide solutions. We can also help with the complexities of supplying to and from Northern Ireland where there are further nuances related to the change coming into force.’
For further information on UKCA, please visit BSI’s website or download the extensive FAQs.