Technical and Regulatory
The UK has now left the European Union and the Single Market and has established its own system for testing construction products and undertaking conformity assessment – Statutory Instrument No. 465 The Construction Products (Amendment etc.) (Exit) Regulations 2019 and Statutory Instrument No 1359/2020 to cover Northern Ireland.
While the general requirements of the EU-CPR are maintained in the UK-CPR, some minor changes have occurred to the text to ensure it is legally workable in the UK e.g. it replaces references to the European Commission with the Secretary of State.
It is still mandatory for manufacturers to draw up a Declaration of Performance with the preferred option to apply the UK Conformity Assessment (UKCA) marking for products covered by a UK Designated standard (formerly a European harmonised standard), however CE marking is still acceptable until 30th June 2025. Currently, the UK Designated standards and the European harmonised standards have exactly the same text, but this may well change in the future. For European Technical Assessments, these have become UK Technical Assessments. Other changes to terminology are European Notified Bodies become UK Approved Bodies.
The UK-CPR still lays down the same seven Building Requirements for Construction Works (BRCW) as given in the EU-CPR and it remains necessary that construction products carrying the UKCA marking enable the finished works to comply with these building requirements.
The definition of a construction product and that of a ‘kit’ which is produced and placed on the market for permanent incorporation within a construction works or part thereof and the performance of which has an effect on the performance of the construction works with respect to the BRCW has not changed.
The Northern Ireland Protocol places the conformity assessment border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the Irish Seas. This means that Northern Ireland still follows European legislation and therefore still requires CE markings to be affixed to relevant products, A special provision in the ‘Protocol’ allows UK Approved Bodies to test to EU standards thus enabling the affixing of a combined CE and UK(NI) marking for use by GB manufacturers supplying NI.
The UK-CPR also maintains specific requirements for importers, distributors certification and test bodies and national regulatory enforcement authorities. As such, it is incumbent on specifiers to comply with these requirements.
It is also important to take on board that from 30th June 2025, the CE marking will no longer be recognised in Great Britain. This means that all CE marked products will have to affix the UKCA marking following involvement by a UK Approved Body.
All involved in the supply chain need to be aware that if ever UK and EU requirements diverge, then the above situation will change.
For more information, contact Mark Wilkinson.