CE marking came into the UK in 1993 and was a directive from the European Union. The marking signifies that a product complies with EU safety, health, and environmental requirements.
After Brexit and the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Government announced a new conformity mark to replace the CE mark, named the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark.
The UKCA mark requires products to be tested in UK-authorised facilities. However, the rollout of this new mark has been delayed due to a shortage of domestic testing centres.
Due to this delay, the Government has recently announced an indefinite extension to the use of CE marking for products.
However, this is not the case for construction products, where a strict deadline of 30 June 2025 is in place to switch all markings over to UKCA.
The Construction Products Association (CPA) has expressed concerns about this situation, voicing fears that policymakers may not fully understand the implications of this policy for the construction industry.
Impact of uncertainty
The current uncertainty has led to product availability issues, with UK and foreign manufacturers withdrawing products from the UK market.
This has resulted in diminished investment and research and development (R&D), negatively impacting jobs and the ability of the product sector to support the construction industry.
Legal experts are also worried about the lack of clarity surrounding the transition from the CE mark to the UKCA mark. They believe that the Government needs to provide clear guidance and support during this transition to prevent further disruption to the industry.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, which oversees construction products, has stated that they will be setting out their own proposals for the reform of the construction products regime in due course.
It is crucial for businesses in the construction industry to stay informed and prepared for future changes.
The transition from the CE mark to the UKCA mark represents a significant change that will require careful planning and adaptation.
If you would like more information and advice surrounding this subject, please contact a member of our expert construction law team today.