Post Brexit: Understanding the New Rules for Certification of Construction Products
5th January 2021
New legislation is set to be introduced on 1st January 2021 replacing the CE certification mark. Guidance from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has been published and MacConvilles have put together an easy to digest guide explaining the new regulations for the certification of marked goods.
There are three conformity markings that will be recognised for construction products in the UK until 1st January 2022, the application of each will depend upon where the products are manufactured and sold for use.
- UKCA mark- United Kingdom Conformity Assessed mark
- CE mark- European Union ‘notified body’ mark
- UK(NI) mark- United Kingdom Northern Ireland ‘approved body’ mark, in some instances this will be used in conjunction with the CE mark
The below table gives a high level outline of what markings should be affixed to products to comply with legislation regulating each market;
|Manufactured in GB||Manufactured in NI||Manufactured in EU|
|Great British Market||UKCA from 01/01/21
CE until 31/12/21
CE + UK(NI)
|UKCA from 01/01/21
CE until 31/12/21
|Northern Ireland Market||CE
CE + UK(NI)
CE + UK(NI)
CE + UK(NI)
|European Union Market||CE||CE||CE|
It is important to recognise that once the transition period has ended, products that only have CE marking affixed to them will no longer be legal on the UK market.
There is an exemption to the certification process business’ in Northern Ireland. Granted ‘unfettered access’ to the UK market means products that are manufactured in the EU with a CE marking but are placed on the NI market by a NI company will legally be compliant for placement on the UK market.
In some scenarios both the UKCA and CE marking will be used on a single product to confirm regulatory compliance with both legal systems.
Conformity Assessment Body
It is the responsibility of the Conformity Assessment Bodies to ensure construction products fulfil their legal requirements to maintain quality and technical standards.
To receive the relevant certification manufacturers will be obliged to obtain services from different Conformity Assessment Bodies depending upon jurisdiction.
- UK Approved Body- Designated by UK Government for products placed on the GB market
- EU Notified Body- Designated by EU Member of State for products on the EU and EEA market
- UK Notified Body- Designated by UK Government by special dispensation under Northern Ireland Protocol for products on the EU and EEA market from NI only
Notified Body Accreditations
Approved Bodies will be replacing Notified Bodies in the UK from 1st January 2021, Notified Bodies administering from within the UK will automatically be issued Approved Body status and will be listed on the new UK database.
UK Notified Bodies operating under the EU Construction Products Regulation 2011 (EU Regulation No. 305/2011) will no longer be able to provide accreditations from 31st December 2021. The withdrawal of UK Notified Body Accreditations means products bearing the CE mark granted by the aforementioned UK Notified Bodies can no longer be legally be placed on the EU Market; product markings and Declarations of Conformity will need to be amended following new certification.
With the introduction of the new Designated Standards manufacturers will need to instruct UK Approved Bodies to complete conformity assessments to confirm compliance and affix the relevant marking. Notified bodies who do not intend to operate under the new UK framework will no longer be able to certify conformity for products that are produced for the GB market.
Designated Standards will replace the present harmonised European Standards, to maintain industry best practice the British Standard Institution (BSi) will continue to engage with EU and international practices. Following the transition period, the newly implemented Designated Standards will directly correspond with the existing European Standards.
The Designated Standards will evolve as other UK regulators such as the HSE work collaboratively with government to influence positive developments. It is unlikely BSi will immediately withdraw all EN Standards, however the government is set to implement a new UK database listing guidance that will take precedent.
The government are encouraging Business’ to implement the new regime immediately following the UK’s exit from the EU, however under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, products with the CE marking and placed on the EU market prior to the transition period ending can legally remain in circulation on both markets until purchased.
The transition period is designed to provide business’ a reasonable timeframe for required adjustments and ends on 1st January 2022.
For further information on the UK construction products regulation please visit gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/construction-products-regulation-from-1-january-2021
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