Government “reluctant to acknowledge problems” around UKCA Mark, according to BCIA

The Building Controls Industry Association (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 intends 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 1st January 2022.

Terry Sharp, President of the BCIA, said: “The Government seem to be reluctant to acknowledge the problems and issues facing businesses since Brexit and failing to respond to the topic.”

Actuate UK, which the BCIA is a part of through its membership of the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA), 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. The ‘go to’ organisation for Government and key stakeholders within the built environment for the engineering services sector fears that, with the deadline coming too early, manufacturers and installers, clients and the public will be left dealing with serious quality and contractual issues. In some product categories, industry is estimating that 64 years’ worth of retesting will be required in the space of just a few months.

Mr Sharp continued: “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. 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.”

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.