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March 25, 2022

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UKCA Certification

Manufacturers of construction products urged to start UKCA process now to achieve certification in time for 2023 deadline

Manufacturers who have not yet started or completed the UKCA certification process have been warned that the 1 January 2023 deadline risks providing a “false sense of comfort” given the time required to successfully conclude the process.

Niresh Somlie, Principal Technical Office, BM TRADA

Following the UK’s departure from the EU in December 2020, UKCA certification became mandatory for all new construction products placed on the market in Great Britain as of 1 January 2021 and will be mandatory for all applicable construction products placed on the GB markets as of 1 January 2023.

It covers all products that fall within the scope of the UK Construction Products Regulation and Designated Standards, and directly replaces CE certification for products placed on the GB market.

UKCA certification can only be issued by an approved body listed on the UK government’s database. As there are only a small number of approved bodies, manufacturers who have not yet started or completed the process may find themselves in a ‘race for space’, according to a testing, inspection and certification provider.

Niresh Somlie, Principal Technical Officer at BM TRADA, said: “Although a large number of manufacturers have successfully achieved UKCA certification, a sizeable number have not.”

The UKCA certification process is dependant on the assessment and verification of constancy of performance (AVCP) level of the product. AVCP information can be found in Annex ZA of the designated standard. For example, products that fall under AVCP Level 1+ and 1 require involvement of the approved body in sampling and initial type testing (ITT) of the product at an approved laboratory.

Niresh continued: “Lead times for sampling and laboratory availability are currently long and are likely to be even longer towards the end of the year. Therefore, the longer the delay in getting the process started, the more likely manufacturers are to be caught in a race for sampling and test space availability.

“In addition to sampling and testing requirements, products that fall under AVCP Level 1+, 1 and 2+ require factory production control (FPC) audit. The UKCA certificate can only be issued once the audit of the factory is successfully completed. Once again, audit lead times are currently long and if the certification process is not started now, it is likely that the factory audit will not be completed in time for 1 January 2023.

“My best advice to any manufacturer who has yet to start the UKCA certification process would be to act now to ensure a smooth certification process in time for 1 January 2023. This will also keep any disruption to an absolute minimum.”

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