On 1 July 2013, CE marking of construction products placed on the UK market and in scope of a harmonised product standard (or hEN) became a legal requirement, as the EU Construction Products Regulation (305/2011/EU) became part of UK law.
This provided a system of harmonised technical specifications across Europe, with harmonised rules for declaring the performance of construction products with respect to certain ‘essential’ characteristics as set out in the relevant hEN. Each Member State is expected to set their own requirements for product performance, and this is set by the Building Regulations in the UK.
The UK left the EU single market on 31 December 2020, and on 1 January 2021 EU Exit legislation for construction products came into force for the UK. This introduced two new conformity marks (the UKCA mark and UKNI mark) with specific rules governing the use of these marks, depending primarily on where the product is placed on the market, as set out below. However, the principles for the use of these marks are essentially the same as they were for CE marking.
As far as the rules are concerned, the UK is split into two parts: Great Britain (i.e. England, Scotland and Wales) and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland will continue to follow EU CPR rules, including CE marking and EU harmonised standards. In December 2022, the government stated its intention is to end recognition of the CE mark for construction products in GB on 30 June 2025. Current rules, which allow for continued recognition of the CE mark, will remain in place until legislation is laid to end recognition of the CE mark. UKCA marking (which also can be applied now) will be mandatory for all relevant products placed on the GB market from 1 July 2025.
Businesses must prepare for the end of recognition of the CE mark in GB and affix UKCA marking using a recognised UK Approved Body. It is the government’s stated intention to end recognition of the CE mark in GB for construction products by 30 June 2025.
For windows and pedestrian doorsets in scope of EN 14351-1, please see our Guidance Note 19-3: UKCA Marking of Windows and Doorsets to EN 14315-1.
The table below summarises the correlation in some terminology between the EU and UK systems for conformity marking of construction products.
|EU CPR: Regulation 305/2011/EU (with Delegated Regulations 157/2014, 568/2014, 547/2014, etc)||UK CPR: Statutory Instruments 2019/415, 2020/1359|
|CE marking||UKCA marking|
UKNI + CE marking
|Harmonised Standard (hEN)||Designated Standard|
|European Assessment Document (EAD)||UK Assessment Document|
|European Technical Assessment (ETA)||UK Technical Assessment|
|Technical Assessment Body (TAB)||UK Technical Assessment Body|
|Notified Body||Approved Body|
|Declaration of Performance||Declaration of Performance|
Note to above table: concerning the use of ETAs for voluntary CE marking, CE marked construction products using existing EU Technical Assessments assessed by EU Technical Assessment Bodies can continue to use this until recognition of CE marking ends. Existing EU Technical Assessments can be used as a basis for a UK Technical Assessment, provided the UK Technical Assessment Body has obtained any necessary consent to do so from the European Organisation for Technical Assessment (EOTA). We understand that discussions between the UK and EOTA are “ongoing”, and that it is hoped a UK Group of Technical Assessment Bodies can be formed to replace EOTA in the UK, with agreement to share standards, etc, between the two. (Similarly, there are discussions underway to create a Group of UK Approved Bodies.)
The table below summarises the requirements for marking in the three markets: GB, NI and EU. There is some dependence on where the product is manufactured, as well as where the product is placed on the market. In addition to the current transition period for CE marking when placing products on the GB market, to ensure “unfettered” access to the GB market for NI businesses, NI businesses can place “qualifying goods” on the GB market using the conformity markings used in NI, which include CE marking and ‘CE + UKNI’ marking.
Notes to above table:
* Qualifying Northern Ireland good (see definition at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1454/contents/made)
** Not qualifying Northern Ireland good
For Assessment and Verification of Constancy of Performance (AVCP) System 3, our understanding of the EU Commission’s position is that type test reports issued by former UK Notified Bodies will no longer be valid for the EU market from 1 January 2021. For the GB market, we understand that “until further notice” the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) will not take enforcement action against any economic actor solely where the UKCA mark has been used on construction products tested only by an EU recognised notified body for the purpose of CE marking, where this testing was done before 31 December 2022. We will provide further clarification on this when available. It remains that UKCA marking “should only be affixed to products tested by a UK approved body”.
4 March 2021
[updated on 13 December 2021 for change to “end of recognition” date;
updated 19 October 2022, inc. AVCP System 3 and adding CGN 19-3;
updated on 10 January 2023 to reflect further change to “end of recognition” date and OPSS enforcement stated position]
Disclaimer: this information is based on our current understanding of the UK market’s requirements based on the existing guidance and are provided in good faith. This information does not constitute or contain any legal advice.