UK: A lack of testing capacity has resulted in some manufacturers being advised that their products are unlikely to be approved to the new UKCA Mark by the government deadline.
As the law stands, any products that are not UKCA-Marked by January 1 next year will not meet contractual requirements and cannot be installed.
Following Brexit, the UK government has confirmed that construction products will move from CE marking to UKCA marking during 2021 so that from January 2022 only products approved and tested to UKCA may be placed onto the market in Great Britain. CE marking is recognised as indicating UK regulatory compliance during 2021, but this is planned to stop by 1 January 2022.
The Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) has received reports from members that they had been advised that they are unlikely to have their products retested and approved by the government deadline, with the clear implication that such products will not meet contractual requirements and cannot be installed.
The BCIA is backing calls for an extension on the transition time for products to display the new UKCA Mark instead of the established EU CE Mark.
“The government seem to be reluctant to acknowledge the problems and issues facing businesses since Brexit and failing to respond to the topic,” said BCIA president Terry Sharp.
Actuate UK, of which the BCIA is a member, recently issued a warning about serious consequences for businesses, public and commercial projects as well as domestic customers in only six months if a major issue regarding product compliance and standard marking is not resolved. In some product categories, industry is estimating that 64 years’ worth of retesting will be required in the space of just a few months.
“The new system is rife with problems, with a lack of UK laboratory capacity and alleged contradictions in government guidance as to whether overseas accredited laboratories can or cannot be used to provide approved testing services for products,” said Terry Sharp.
“The BCIA’s Working Group members have already reported problems in getting clarity on guidance on what was acceptable and a number indicated that they had been advised that they are unlikely to have their products retested and approved by the Government deadline, with the clear implication that such products will not meet contractual requirements and cannot be installed.”