Change from CE marking to UKCA put back a year
The government has given in to industry pressure and put back by a year the deadline for changing from CE marking to post-Brexit UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking.
The changeover was supposed to take place at the start of 2022 but too many products will not have been certified by then.
The Construction Products Association had warned the government that the UK simply does not have the ability to carry out all the testing and certification needed to switch to the UKCA mark.
In May, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government told a meeting of the UK’s approved product testing & certification bodies that the government was considering delaying the deadline for implementing the new system.
Now the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced that the deadline to change over to UKCA is to be pushed back to 1 January 2023.
It is keen to blame the Covid-19 pandemic. It says in a statement: “Recognising the impact of the pandemic on businesses, the government will extend this deadline to 1 January 2023 to apply UKCA marks for certain products to demonstrate compliance with product safety regulations, rather than 1 January 2022.”
BEIS says the announcement “follows the government’s extensive and ongoing engagement with business groups and reflects the issues businesses have raised, particularly given the impact of the pandemic".
Although CE and UKCA marking will be run separately, the standards themselves will not change, at least initially, because the British Standards Institution (BSI) remains a part of CEN, which produces the standards for CE marking. CEN is not part of the European Commission so BSI can remain with it even though the UK is no longer part of the European Union.
Most stone companies using CE Marking will be able simply to switch from CE Marking to UKCA without having to have products re-tested. This is because almost all natural stone products come under System 4 for the Assessment & Verification of Constancy of Performance (AVCP). This means the stone company takes responsibility for the testing and for the Declaration of Performance, so as long as the properties of the stone remain unchanged (a moot point for a naturally variable material) the same data that were used for CE marking can be used to prepare a Declaration of Performance for UKCA Marking, as long as test results used were obtained from a UKAS-accredited testing house. Just a reminder that flooring, paving and cladding are among the stone products that should all be tested and carry CE/UKCA marks.
BEIS warns it is not prepared to extend the deadline again. “Businesses must take action to ensure they are ready to apply UKCA marking by 1 January 2023, the final deadline.”
There is, however, already one exception as medical devices have been given until 1 July 2023 to get UKCA marking.
BEIS is hosting a Teams meeting to discuss this extension and what it means for industry tomorrow, Wednesday 25 August from 2.30-3pm. You can join the call using this link.