Industry pleads for UKCA mark extension
UK: The engineering services sector has called for an extension to the deadline for manufacturers to achieve the new UKCA product mark due to the lack of approved testing bodies.
Actuate UK, which represents the engineering services sector and includes such bodies as CIBSE, the contractors association BESA, and manufacturers group FETA, warns of “serious consequences” if the deadline for the end of this year is not extended.
The government plans for the new UKCA Mark to entirely replace the established EU CE product Mark across the country by the end of this year are seen as being unachievable. In some product categories, industry is estimating that 64 years’ worth of retesting will be required in less than seven months.
The issue affects a vast swathe of installed engineering products for both the domestic and commercial sectors, and Actuate warns it could lead to an array of installation cancellations, delays and contractual problems for the supply chain and its customers. Actuate members are concerned that this could bring the industry to a standstill, while it is still recovering from the pandemic.
To avoid the looming crisis, and help with a sensible transition to UKCA marking, Actuate UK is working with others across the construction and services industries and requesting that the government continues to recognise the CE mark until at least the end of 2022. Actuate UK adds that during this this time, products used in Great Britain should be allowed to bear either or both marks.
FETA CEO Russell Beattie said: “This is not simply a question of manufacturers failing to prepare for a deadline and is inextricably linked with capacity within the still developing UKCA approved body cohort. Nor is this problem limited to our sector. At a time when businesses are trying to rebuild after the Covid 19 challenges the government is urged to take the pragmatic step of extending the transition period. It is our understanding this has been done in the case of medical devices so there is sensible precedent for this.”
The Lift and Escalator Industry association (LEIA), another Actuate UK member, revealed that for lifts and safety components for lifts there is currently only one UK approved body able to undertake certification for thousands of such components.