The BBA has initiated discussions with a number of European Notified Bodies (NBs) proposing collaboration to counter the product certification changes introduced by the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
For manufacturers this will mean one audit – carried out either by the BBA or by a Notified Body partner – to support both UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) and CE marking for FPC 2+ (Factory Production Control), saving time and money by reducing audit days and administration costs.
“Following Brexit, organisations within the UK can no longer assist with conformity tasks in support of CE marking and European Notified Bodies can no longer assist with conformity tasks in support of the new UKCA marking applications,” said Peter Webbon, BBA sales and marketing director. “This has created a frustrating situation for clients in both marketplaces having to use two organisations for two conformity markings even though much of the information required is the same.”
He said: “We reached out to European NBs with the suggestion that we collaborate to achieve one audit for both FPC certificates. These new partnerships create efficiencies across the supply chain, making it easier and quicker for building product manufacturers at home and throughout the EU to achieve the necessary compliance. Although NBs have worked together in the past this is the first real partnership seen between them, for the good of the industry.”
So far, more than 10 European Union NBs have confirmed participation in the scheme, including Eurofins Finland (the first to sign up to the partnership), ITB Poland, NCS Estonia, Holzforschung Austria and SKZ Germany, with interest from many more, BBA says.
Katarzyna Hatowska, head of the certification department at Poland’s Instytut Techniki Budowlanej (ITB) said: “We are happy that our partnership with the BBA will help EU and UK construction product manufacturers, bringing the potential for substantial time and money savings in the certification process. From now a single audit can be used for both CE and UKCA marking certification purposes, thus BBA and ITB will be able to jointly support the industry in more effective access to EU and UK markets.”
The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking transition period was introduced in January 2021 and covers most goods that previously required the CE marking. Businesses were given 12 months to implement this new protocol.