The news that the UK is officially leaving the European Union (EU) brings changes to the way in which regulations govern the manufacture and sale of solid fuel heating appliances on the UK market.
Currently, all manufacturers producing and marketing products for sale in the UK are required to meet the legal obligations of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). An EU regulation requiring the appropriate testing and subsequent affixing of the recognised “CE mark” a self-declaration by the manufacturer that the product meets the standards of the regulation.
UKCA mark requirement
Going forward, from 1st January 2022, all products placed on the UK market for sale (excluding Northern Ireland) will be required to meet all applicable provisions of the new UKCA marking (UK Conformity Assessed) regime. Any product placed on the market after this date will need to have its conformity assessment undertaken by a UK recognised notified institute listed on the UK notified laboratory database.
For those manufactured products whose testing and conformity assessment have already been undertaken by a UK recognised authority, can simply apply the UKCA mark to their products as early as the 1st January 2021, in line with the 12-month transition period allowed for by the government. This transition period will allow a period of time for manufacturers to get any existing EU certified product certifications transferred to a UK body, and allow for the new UKCA mark to be affixed accordingly.
The transition period allows for both the CE mark and UKCA mark to be affixed to products within the 12-month period, mainly in the shorter term to allow for easier export and labelling of products across multiple member states.
However, from 1st January 2022, the CE mark will no longer be recognised within the UK, and manufacturers/retailers must have adopted the new UKCA regime and be covered by appropriate certification evidenced by a UK listed body.
For any products imported from within the EU, any authorised representative appointed to deal with the marketing and sale of UK products shall be based and have a business address situated within the UK. Authorised representatives based within the EU will no longer be recognised within the UK after the implementation date. This does not include a sale of goods within Northern Ireland, who will operate under a different regime UK(NI).
As well as the transition of product certification evidence from an EU to a UK body, the impending changes mean a slight amendment to the issue of any Declaration of Performance (DoP) for products, which will now need to make reference against the new UKCA legislation document (superseding (EU) 305/2011). These declarations will need to continue to be made available to market surveillance authorities, and also make reference against UK designated standards rather than existing EU standards referenced in the Official Journal. HETAS will be providing further information and guidance to industry stakeholders on how BSI standards will likely be affected by the changes and any new responsibilities for registered installers, retailers and manufacturers.
Although the implementation dates are quite clear, it is important to note that the transition period is only valid in circumstances whereby the CE and UKCA rules remain the same. If in the short term the rules for CE marking across the EU member states changes, then the transitional arrangements will no longer remain valid, and it is likely products placed on the market in the UK will immediately need to bear the UKCA mark upon any changes.
It is important therefore for product manufacturers to begin the transition at the earliest convenience to avoid being caught out against any future changes proposed and implemented by the EU during the transition phase.
The changes at this time strictly cover the requirements of the CPR, all systems in place relating to the Building Regulations, Ecodesign and local emission requirements in smoke control areas covered by the Clean Air Act will be unaffected by the changes and still apply as they do now within the UK.
Manufacturers, retailers and distributors can gain further information on the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking requirements and support services can be obtained directly from HETAS by email at email@example.com.
Guidance on these changes will be provided for HETAS registrants and available via the HETAS Technical Area and Technical Helpline.