UKCA Marking

MEETING YOUR OBLIGATIONS

The exit of the UK from the European Union on 31 December 2020 has forced businesses in the timber industry to adapt to a new playbook as the UK is now outside of the EU Single Market.

 

The UK will replace CE Marking on all products. The UK has refused mutual recognition of standards, claiming the right to diverge in all regulatory matters. This means CE marking will no longer be accepted. The timetable is not the same for all the different types of products that must carry CE marking.

 

One significant change for the construction industry is that the UK Government is currently stating that from 1 January 2023 only UKCA marked building products can be placed on the market in Great Britain.

 

However, given the global pandemic, and the pressures this places on business, TTF and many others in the construction sector are calling for this date to be extended. We are confident this will happen, but manufacturers must continue to work towards putting UKCA marking in place as soon as possible.

 

The UKCA mark will be administered by UK Approved bodies only. For sawmills and panel product manufacturers outside the UK, this means changing the notified body they work with if they want to supply the UK market. Or if they want to supply both EU and UK markets duplicating their current certification system by adding a UK Approved Body alongside their existing EU Notified Body.

Can I have CE mark and UKCA mark on the same wood?

Yes this is fully acceptable in the UK and the EU CPR allows for “additional” marks to be carried alongside the CE mark, but it is not yet clear if all EU member states will accept dual marking.

 

To meet requirements of the CPR, manufacturers must fulfill these criteria to successfully place your products on the market:
– The marks must be distinct.
– Kept separate.
– Supported by separate factor-controlled certification systems.
– Have separate declarations of performance.

Will there be policing of UKCA marking on construction products?

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) are designated to use powers through the Building Safety Bill in order to oversee the safety of construction products. Part of this responsibility will be in relation to UKCA marking. This UK Government Agency have a background in building safety and environmental topics with a current staffing level of 100.

If I bought timber before the 1 January 2023 and it only has a CE mark, can I still place it on the UK market?

Yes during 2021 products that carry the UKCA mark, the CE mark or both marks correctly separated are all acceptable on the UK market.

Where can I get more information?

We have produced a Construction Product Regulation guide that contains examples and tools to help you demonstrate compliance.

What is a conformance mark?

CE, UKCA and NI marks are all conformity marks that affirm the product has passed the required assessment for the market, such as health, safety, and environmental protection standards.

 

• CE mark affirms the product’s compliance with EU legislation.
• UKCA mark indicates conformity with Great Britain’s legislation.
• UKNI mark can only be applied alongside a CE mark and is only necessary where a UK Approved Body is used to oversee CE marking of construction products for manufacture or sale on the NI market.

The technical requirements for all of these schemes are essentially the same, including:

 

• The scope and type of construction products that need to be marked
• Product standards
• Initial Type Testing
• Declaration of Performance
• Development of Factory Production Control (FPC)
• In-house factory testing
• Involvement of a 3rd party body to oversee FPC
• Product marking

What regulations & standards apply in the UK? And what is changing in 2023? 

Following the exit of the UK from the European Union, existing harmonised European standards became UK ‘designated standards’.

 

This means that immediately after the end of the transition period, harmonised European standards and UK designated standards are identical.

 

Of course, there is no guarantee that UK and EU construction products will remain harmonised in the future, and regardless of the duplication which will occur, obtaining the UKCA mark remains a legal requirement which must be met for goods to be placed on the market in Great Britain.

What is changing on 1 January 2023?

1 January 2023 is currently the proposed final date for ending recognition of CE marking. In practice, many of the requirements to obtain a UKCA mark will be a duplication exercise of the current steps a business will take to obtain a CE mark. However, there are three key differences which manufacturers must legally conform to, including;

 

1) The CE mark on products will be replaced by a the UKCA mark in Great Britain (GB),

2) 3rd party bodies to oversee the new UK mark will be called approved bodies rather than notified bodies, and based in the UK.

3) The common product standards used by the UK mark will be called designated standards rather than harmonised standards.

Find a UK Approved Body

Accepted marks for EU, GB and NI markets

The first step is to identify the actions you must take according to where you are in the timber supply chain, and where you plan to place your goods (as seen on the table on the right).

 

Regardless of where you are in the supply chain, it is important you take the time to understand the UKCA mark and what it means for your business.

 

If you are importing goods from the EU, you should communicate with your suppliers about the incoming changes with the UKCA mark and your needs as a business.

 

If you are a manufacturer of construction products and wish to continue to place your goods on the UK market you must contact your current notified body about obtaining the UKCA mark.

 

If you are exporting goods to the EU you should ensure arrangements have been made between the manufacturer and an EU Notified Body to continue to CE mark your goods.

Advice for manufacturers

Businesses must prepare for the end of recognition of the CE mark in Great Britain and affix the UK marking using a UK-‘approved body’. Manufacturers essentially have three options.

 

Option 1: Affix the UK marking using a UK- ‘approved body’ to sell into the GB market.

 

Option 2: Affix the CE marking using an EU- ‘notified body’ to sell into the EU market.

 

Option 3: Affix both markings with both Option 1 and Option 2 to sell into the EU and GB markets.

 

Where no third-party conformity assessment is required (AVCP system 4), the manufacturer can choose whether to affix the UK marking and/or the CE marking, provided that the underlying requirements are met, and separate DOPs are produced for each mark.

Getting UKCA marking in place

To help you map out what you need to do to get UKCA marking in place, we have created a flowchart.

Supplying UK and EU markets

Businesses that want to supply both the UK and EU market (which includes Northern Ireland) may have two marks on their products; a CE mark for European customers and a UKCA mark for British customers.

 

The EU accepts it is possible to have both marks on one piece of wood, but it is not yet clear if all EU member states will accept this view, so please check that country’s rules before dual marking.

 

There are also several criteria that must be fulfilled if you are to dual mark and successfully place your products on both markets.

 

These are:
– The marks must be distinct.
– Kept separate.
– Supported by separate factory production control (FPC) certification systems.
– Have separate declarations of performance.

Advice for exporters

UK Manufacturers have been applying CE marks to construction products for many years and therefore in most cases will already have the systems and necessary certification from an EU Notified Body to allow this process to continue.

 

To supply the UK and EU markets in future it will be necessary for UK Manufacturers to do ONE of two things:

 

1) Engage with a UK Approved Body directly and have two separate factory production control (FPC) systems and two different sets of auditing

OR;

2) Speak to their existing EU Notified Body to ask them to sign a subcontract with a UK Approved Body to audit two (FPC) systems which are currently identical.

Find a UK Approved Body

Advice for importers

The diagram below illustrates the due diligence steps the importer must conduct to ensure products placed on the market conform with their declared performances.

If your supplier wants to place timber products on the UK market, your supplier must do ONE of two things:

 

1) Engage with a UK Approved Body directly and have two separate factory production control (FPC) systems and two different sets of auditing,

OR;

2) Speak to their existing EU Notified Body to ask them to sign a subcontract with a UK Approved Body to audit two (FPC) systems which are currently identical.

Example: Some EU suppliers are asking their Notified Body to sign a subcontract with a UK Approved Body. This is the case in Sweden where many Swedish mills now have the opportunity to apply UKCA marks to structural softwood thanks to a subcontract agreement.

Find a UK Approved Body

Technical: European Assessment Document

A European Assessment Document (EAD) is a harmonised technical specification developed by EOTA as the basis for European Technical Assessments (ETAs).

 

The EAD provides manufacturers with a route to achieve CE marking for construction-products not covered by a harmonised European standard (hEN) under the Construction Products Regulation (EU) 305/2011.

 

Products that currently use European assessment documentation include CLT products, I-Joists, Metal Web Joists and a number of other engineered wood products.

 

The EU and EOTA hold EAD copyright and EOTA have only recently given UK permission for the use of EADs that had been published before the UK left the EU.

 

This now requires a cross licensing agreement to be drawn up between EOTA and the specific UK TABs who will make use of these documents.

 

Although progress has been made on this issue, what this means in practice and how it will function still needs to be established. Therefore, the time-scale for UKCA marking on such products is still unknown.

More information on European Assessment Document

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT OUR BREXIT PAGE