Your construction products may need to carry the UKCA mark from 1 January 2023 – Are you ready?
Brexit means that the new UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark will replace the European Union’s CE mark as means of signalling conformity with the UK’s Construction Product Regulation.
The British Government has delayed full implementation of these changes to give the industry more time to prepare but this period of grace runs out at the end of 2022.
It is vital that manufacturers or any other organisation looking to place products on the market in England, Wales and Scotland ensure they understand what this means for them, or they could find their products barred from sale in Britain. Manufacturers who want to sell the same materials in both the UK and EU market must also prepare themselves to be able to affix both UKCA and CE marks to their products.
BBA is a UK Government Approved Body and Technical Assessment Body for UKCA marking and we have set up a UKCA hub to provide more information. BBA experts are also available to provide advice to support your business with the change to the new regime.
What is changing?
Under the pre-Brexit regime manufacturers, importers and distributors of many construction materials have used the CE mark to signal that their products meet the standards required for its sale on the EU market. They have been able to use harmonised European Standards for this purpose, as defined by the EU version of the Construction Products Regulation..
Post Brexit, UK has published its own version of the Construction Products Regulation. One consequence of this change is that from 1 January 2023 UKCA replaces CE marking for manufacturers seeking to place product on the market in Great Britain and UK Designated Standards have been introduced in place of harmonised European Standards for this purpose.
This applies to England, Wales and Scotland. Northern Ireland’s unique relationship with the EU means that for this market, manufacturers need to either continue to use the CE mark or use the separate UKNI mark in combination with CE marking.
An up to date list of Designated Standards for construction products is available from the Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities.
What do product manufacturers, importers and distributors need to do to make sure they can legally use the UKCA mark?
The action needed depends on the product and the route taken to achieve certification of compliance with Standards.
If your product requires third party conformity assessment and you already have BBA conformity certification for example Certification of Factory Production Control this can simply be carried over to support the use of UKCA marking on products. Manufacturers do not currently need a new Certificate because the old harmonised European Standards to which these Certificates relate have been written into UK law, for example BS EN 206 for concrete is still called BS EN 206.
However, if you have used the voluntary route to CE marking you will need a new Certificate. This is because the previous European Assessment Documents (EADs) that underpinned this process have been replaced by UK Assessment Documents (UKADs). The content is currently unchanged, but your Certificates must now reference the relevant UKAD.
On 21 June, the UK Government issued revised guidance that confirmed that where a product has already been tested before 31 December 2022 by an EU recognised notified body under the European Assessment and Verification of Constancy of Performance System 3 (in which the manufacturer carries out factory production control and a notified testing laboratory is responsible for determination of product type) it will not need to be re-tested before the UKCA marked can be affixed.
And if I want to sell on both the UK and EU Markets?
Products being sold into both the UK and EU markets can carry UKCA and CE marks so long as they comply with legal arrangements in both jurisdictions. UK and EU Standards are currently identical as the latter were transferred wholesale into UK Regulation as part of the legislation passed to implement Brexit
Unfortunately, UK based Certification Bodies such as BBA can no longer support your use of the CE mark. Any manufacturer looking to continue to use CE marking to place products on the EU market now need a separate Certificate from an EU based Notified Body.
BBA can however in some cases work with a Notified Body to cut down on the work required, for example by sharing inspection visits