Current system will run out in June 2025, CPA confirms
The Construction Products Association is warning that an announcement from the business department about an indefinite extension to the use of CE marking for UK businesses does not cover construction products.
The Department for Business and Trade announced this morning an “indefinite extension” to the use of CE marking for products, which will now run alongside the newer UKCA mark.
The UKCA mark was introduced in 2020 after the UK left the European Union and was due to replace the Europe-wide CE mark, which has been used for product certification across a wide array of sectors since the 1980s.
But the rollout of the UKCA mark, which requires products to be tested in the UK and authorised facilities abroad, has been held back by a shortage of domestic testing centres.
In a statement, CPA chief executive Peter Capelhorn said: “The UK government announcement today about an indefinite extension to the use of CE marking for UK businesses does not pertain to the construction products sector.
“Rather, the situation for our sector remains the same; that is, recognition of the CE mark for construction products in Great Britain will continue until 30 June 2025, when implementation of the UK CA marking scheme is set to become mandatory.”
He added: “We fear that policy makers do not fully understand or appreciate the gravity of this policy position not only for our sector and the construction industry, but indeed for any government ambitions related to the UK’s housing, schools, hospitals, infrastructure and wider built environment.
“The CPA has long argued that every day that manufacturers have to wait for clarification from government causes more damage. This uncertainty has exacerbated product availability issues, led to UK and foreign manufacturers pulling products from the UK market, diminished investment and R&D, and therefore negatively impacted jobs and the ability of the product sector to support the UK construction industry every day.
“We hope that today’s announcement reflects a new appreciation by policy makers of the cost and burden caused by the CA Mark scheme. We will appreciate further discussions with the government to ensure the UK construction products sector sees similar clarity very soon.”
Construction products fall under the remit of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and in a statement this afternoon it confirmed the business department’s announcement, which covers 18 sectors, did not apply to construction. It said it would be setting out its own proposals for the reform of the construction products regime in “due course”.
In its announcement, the business department said the move was part of a package of “smarter regulations” aiming to ease business burdens and help grow the economy by cutting red tape.
Business secretary Kevin Hollinrake had “acted urgently on this issue, to prevent a cliff-edge moment”, the department added.