Update on the new UKCA Marking Regime
In 2018, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act came into force, highlighting the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU, bringing with it changes to the way in which future imports of construction products would be administered to confirm compliance with the new legislation drafted.
To save time, resource and minimize the impacts as part of the withdrawal agreement, the UK government made a decision for primary EU legislation to be transitioned into Statutory Instruments (SI), with simple modification of the terminologies contained within the legislation, so they can be used as stand-alone UK legislation.
The majority of the new SI’s introduced reflect the same conditional requirements as that previously called upon within EU legislation, with some minor amendments, to make it easier for industries in the short term to continue to trade with as little disruption as possible.
In the case of solid fuel burning appliances, these products would have been previously manufactured and sold on the UK market under the mandate of the previously recognised EU regulation Construction Products Regulation
s (EU) No. 305/2011. For transition into UK law, a Statutory Instrument (SI) 2013/1387 was created on 1st July 2013 which did not immediately transpose the EU law but stipulated it was to become an offence for products to be sold on the UK market if did not directly meet the EU legislation (305/2011).
Fast forward 7 years and the transitional arrangements have identified that the SI developed in this format will no longer be able to directly transpose to UK legislation due to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. In light of this, the UK government has now drafted The Construction Products (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, which details amendments to the original statutory instrument to include the relevant legal conditions to allow for solid fuel products to meet new UK law.
The new legislation details from 1st January 2022, all solid fuel heating products placed on the market will be required to have placed upon it the UKCA mark of conformity and have a technical evidence file underpinned by a UK approved body supporting any placing of marked products in the UK. It is important therefore that manufacturers ensure that any products placed on the market after this date are appropriately marked with a UKCA dataplate, as after the 1st of January 2022 the previous CE mark will no longer be recognised within the UK.
Between now and the 1stJanuary 2022, manufacturers can continue to place products on the market underpinned by a previously assessed EU test laboratory report, however with only 7 months until the enforcement date, it is advised for manufacturers to begin transitioning technical evidence files to a UK approved body.
The legislation covers placing of products within England, Scotland, and Wales, however things differ slightly for Northern Ireland, whereby product will continue to be administered under the current EU marking regime and are required to carry the recognised UK(NI) mark instead.
Other important considerations as the industry transitions to new UKCA marking regime include;
- All existing harmonised EU standards will become UK designated standards, assigned with a BS syntax, and the content of which will be identical until such a time that a standards amendment review is undertaken.
- Manufacturers selling products within the EU will still be required to have products CE mark when selling into Europe. It is likely the UKCA conformity assessment mark will not be recognised across the EU after the enforcement date.
- Until 1st January 2022, solid fuel products can carry both conformity assessment marks, as long as they meet all requirements of both the CE and UKCA marking regimes.
- Authorised representatives (importer) based in the EU will no longer be recognised in the UK from 1st January 2021 (and vice versa) and will likely be required to setup a local registered address and premises when importing products for sale in the UK.
- Advised to ensure separate technical assessment certificates are obtained under both CE and UKCA marking regimes if selling products within both the UK and EU.
- Update to Declaration of Performance (Conformity), which will need to be redrafted and reference UK legislation and standards directly.