Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Global, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
January 13, 2020

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Government rejects FIA & BSIA timeline extension requests to the UKCA mark

The Fire Industry Association (FIA) and British Security Industry Association (BSIA) sent two joint letters to the UK Government in late 2020, urging a reconsideration of the detail and timelines of the UKCA mark. The Government has since responded, nothing that there is not likely to be a timeline extension to the dates already in place. 

The letters, sent to the Rt Hon James Brokenshire, Minister of State for Security, highlight the concerns both associations hold regarding the implementation of the new UKCA mark on 1 January 2021. The two believe timelines should be reconsidered, otherwise it will have a significant impact on both organisations and their respective industries.

Paul Scully MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), stated:

“I appreciate your industry’s concerns, but I must stress that the Government has been clear that we cannot indefinitely accept EU certification and CE marked goods on the market in Great Britain on a non-reciprocal basis beyond the end of the Transition Period on 31 December 2020… it is our priority that the UK regains its regulatory autonomy.”

You can real the full response, here.

The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking is a new UK product marking that will be used for goods being place in the Great Britain market (England, Wales and Scotland). This is set to replace most goods currently requiring CE marking – as a result of the UK leaving the European Union.

Currently, CE marking will be able to be used up until 1 January 2022 in most cases, though the government is encouraging the use of the UKCA as soon as possible from its implementation on 1 January 2021. Products required to have UKCA marking if all of the following apply:

  • The product is for the market in Great Britain
  • The product is covered by legislation which requires the UKCA marking
  • The product requires mandatory third-party conformity assessment
  • The conformity assessment has been carried out by a UK conformity assessment body and you haven’t transferred your conformity assessment files from your UK body to an EU recognised body before 1 January 2021

You can find out more information from the Government’s guidance page on UKCA marking.

The FIA and BSIA believe that the current implementation of the UKCA is “estimated to cost our industry sectors in the region of £20m for product re-certification”. Both also estimate that the process will realistically take 36 months to carry out. The two highlight that many of the products involved in the security and fire safety industries are subject to insurance requirements and conformance to the Construction Products Regulations (CPR) and other EU legislation.

The two associations have also noted that dual product certification “will cause major disruption to companies that make/sell products across the UK, EU and global markets”.

Specifically, the two trade associations requested:

  • A reciprocal agreement to accept the EU CPR certification alongside the UKCA mark
  • If this isn’t possible, that the 12 month deadline is extended to 36 months
  • Agreement that UKCA Notified Bodies will accept the product test reports from other EU bodies without the need to retest
  • Consider that the UKCA mark is not relevant for existing fire and security systems and components needed to extend, maintain and service them

Read the letter in full, here. 

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