Guidance

Construction Products Regulation in Great Britain

Guidance providing practical information for placing construction products on the GB market.

Applies to England, Scotland and Wales

This guidance is about placing construction products on the GB market. The GB market refers to England, Wales and Scotland. It is a summary of the provisions of the relevant legislation, but it is not comprehensive. You should rely on the provisions of the legislation in preference to what is summarised in this guidance.

For the legislation which makes amendments to the regime for construction products post transition period, please follow these links:

Note: This guidance does not cover goods placed on the Northern Ireland market or goods placed on the GB market from Northern Ireland. See guidance on Construction Products Regulation in Northern Ireland.

Businesses must prepare for the end of recognition of the CE mark in GB and affix the UK marking using a UK-recognised ‘approved body’. Our intention is to end recognition of the CE mark by 1 January 2023. Current rules will remain in place until legislation is laid to end recognition of the CE mark.

Businesses should comply with the new UK regime, as soon as possible. This includes use of the UK mark in GB. To allow businesses time to adjust, some CE marked goods, that meet EU requirements, may continue to be placed on the GB market.

However, we intend for this arrangement to end on 1 January 2023, and businesses should ensure they are prepared for the new system before it comes into effect after we have laid legislation.

For further guidance if you’re placing construction products goods on the European Union market, read: EU Construction Products Regulation and CE marking.

Purpose

To provide a summary of the actions that will be required by economic operators wishing to place construction products on the GB market and by UK based conformity assessment bodies.

Annex A of this guidance sets out additional information for current UK notified bodies.

Annex B provides information in relation to authorised representatives.

Annex C provides detail in relation to the technical assessment bodies (‘TABs’), for those construction products that are not fully covered by a harmonised standard.

We published guidance to help businesses to prepare for EU exit in a no deal scenario on 24 January 2019. This guidance replaces this and provides practical information for placing construction products on the GB market from 1 January 2021. See guidance on placing goods on the NI market.

Construction Products Regulation in Great Britain

The government made legislation in March 2019 which came into effect on 1 January 2021 to make arrangements for the regulation of construction products after EU Exit. Since then, we have made further changes to take into account the effect of the Withdrawal Agreement and Northern Ireland Protocol. Those changes also came into effect on 1 January 2021.

In summary, the changes which were made in March 2019 will now apply in England, Wales and Scotland only. The regime in Northern Ireland will match the EU requirements for construction products.

Designated standards

All existing harmonised European standards became UK ‘designated standards’. This means that immediately after the end of the transition period, harmonised European standards and UK designated standards will be identical.

The government has published, and will maintain, a list of these designated standards on GOV.UK.

Transitional provision for CE marked products already placed on the UK market1

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, goods lawfully marked with the CE mark and placed on the EU market before the end of the transition period can continue to circulate until they reach their end user, whether they are in the UK or the EU.

This includes requirements that they:

  • are covered by a harmonised European standard, which is the same as a UK designated standard (as noted above)
  • are affixed with CE marking
  • are accompanied by a manufacturer’s declaration of performance
  • have been assessed by an EU-recognised notified body, where third party assessment is required.

It will be up to any economic operator, relying on this provision, to prove that the goods were placed on the market before the end of the transition period.

UK ‘Approved Bodies’

From 1 January 2021, UK notified bodies operating under the EU Construction Products Regulation 2011 (EU Regulation No. 305/2011) and based in the UK were granted new UK ‘approved body’ status and listed in a new UK database (the UK Market Conformity Assessment Bodies database). Notified bodies established in the UK were contacted in December 2020 with further details on their approved body status.

Approved bodies are able to undertake conformity assessment activity for UK designated standards. Where an approved body has undertaken the assessment, the manufacturer (or their authorised representative) must affix the UK marking. Rules around affixing the new UK marking will be equivalent to current CE marking. Further updated details on using the UK marking and the status of CABs can be found on the GOV.UK website. See Annex A.

Where a UK notified body (which became a UK approved body) had carried out tasks or issued certification in relation to the Assessment and Verification of Performance (AVCP) for a product before 1 January 2021, then those tasks and/or that certification may be used to support affixing of the UK marking if the product is placed on the GB market after this date.

Accepted markings for the GB market

Your goods may require different markings for different markets. The table below illustrates the accepted markings for the GB market.

Type of good Accepted marking or combination of markings*
Placing goods (which are not qualifying Northern Ireland goods) on the market in Great Britain  
Construction product being placed on the GB market until the end of 2022 UKCA or CE or CE & UK(NI)
Construction product placed on the GB market from 1 January 2023 UKCA
Placing qualifying Northern Ireland goods on the market in Great Britain (unfettered access)  
Construction product which is a qualifying Northern Ireland good being placed on the GB market under unfettered access provisions from January 2023 CE or CE & UK(NI)

*You may use combinations of the product markings listed in each box and your goods may be acceptable with more than one marking. This is the UK’s position and it will be for the EU to determine the arrangements that apply for placing goods on the EU market.

Market surveillance

The UK has powers to carry out market surveillance and enforcement (Trading Standards in GB and Environmental Health Officers in NI) to ensure that non-compliant products can be removed from the UK market. The government is developing UK databases to support this work.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

Placing construction products on the GB market

Businesses must prepare for the end of recognition of the CE mark in GB and affix the UK marking using a UK-recognised ‘approved body’.

To provide sufficient time for businesses to transition to the new requirements, products can continue to be placed on the UK market without any need for reassessment or re-marking if EU requirements are met (including CE marking). Any third-party conformity assessment must continue to be carried out by an EU-recognised notified body during this time. In addition, products that meet NI rules (including CE marking or CE UK(NI) marking) can be placed on the GB market. Businesses should prepare for these provisions to end on 1 January 2023.

Products that meet UK requirements and bear the UK mark can only2 be placed on the GB market if third-party assessments have been carried out by a UK approved body.

UK-based notified bodies have become UK approved bodies and are now listed in a new UK database (see Annex A).

Distributors established in the UK who bring products in from outside the UK (including EU or EEA states) to the GB market are, in most cases, now be classified as ‘importers’, bringing in products to the GB from a third country1. This change in status will bring new obligations such as:

  • a requirement for importers to label their products with their name and address
  • ensuring that the assessment and verification of constancy of performance (AVCP) requirements has been carried out by the manufacturer
  • the product must bear the conformity marking
  • ensuring that the manufacturer has complied with their labelling obligations.

GB economic operators - whether manufacturers, importers, distributors or authorised representatives - should consider taking professional advice to make sure that they understand their status and obligations under the new GB regulatory framework.

Annex A: UK Approved bodies

Former UK notified bodies operating under the UK CPR regime became UK ‘approved bodies’ on 1 January 2021.

UK approved bodies are now listed on the UKMCAB database, and have a 4-digit approved body number, which is the same as their previous notified body number.

Where UK approved bodies indicate they do not intend to operate under the UK framework, their designation as a UK approved body will be withdrawn by the UK government and they will not be listed in the UKMCAB database.

These bodies will need to transfer relevant documentation to another approved body (or the relevant government department - the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) or retain the relevant documentation for a specified period.

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) will continue to be the UK’s national accreditation body for accrediting UK approved bodies under the UK Construction Products Regulation.

Annex B: Authorised representatives

To minimise disruption after 31 December 2020, where a manufacturer has issued a written mandate to an existing authorised representative based in an EU country, that authorised representative will continue to be recognised in the UK until 1 January 2023.

However, new authorised representatives will need to be established in the UK to be recognised under UK law after this date.

Actions for businesses and other stakeholders

Manufacturers wishing to appoint a new authorised representative to carry out tasks on their behalf in GB will need to appoint a representative established in the UK.

Annex C: Technical assessment bodies

UK-based technical assessment bodies became ‘UK technical assessment bodies’ on 1 January 2021, and are listed on the UKMCAB database.

UK technical assessment bodies will now be able to carry out the technical assessment of construction products for the GB market. The products may then be affixed with UK marking.

Technical assessment bodies will be responsible for drawing up and adopting UK assessment documents. (The UK technical assessment bodies may collectively form an organisation to undertake the role of developing and adopting assessment documents.)

Implications

UK-based technical assessment bodies will be able to draw up UK assessment documents for manufacturers placing goods on the GB market. This will allow manufacturers to obtain a voluntary UK mark for their products.

UK technical assessment bodies may use a European assessment document that was adopted before the UK left the EU, to develop a UK assessment document, if they have obtained the necessary consent to do so from the European Organisation for Technical Assessment.

Manufacturers wanting to affix CE marking using a European technical assessment after the end of the transition period should refer to EU guidance.

To minimise disruption, products can continue to be placed on the UK market if EU requirements are met (including CE marking). Businesses must prepare for this provision to end on 1 January 2023.

Frequently asked questions

1. After 1 January 2021, will there be a greater risk of unsafe products on the GB market?

We remain committed to ensuring that UK standards are maintained. Our regulations ensure that the same standards that applied before 1 January 2021 will continue to apply afterwards. In addition, we intend to implement the recommendations of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety to further strengthen regulatory oversight of construction products at a national level.

2. How will products already circulating on the GB market be affected?

For an individual product already circulating on the GB market prior to 31 December 2020, no additional action is needed. A certificate issued by an EU notified body that was valid immediately before that date continues to be valid for the purposes of the GB market.

3. What do I need to do to place a product on the GB market after the end of the transition period?

Businesses must prepare for the end of recognition of the CE mark in GB and affix the UK marking using a UK-recognised ‘approved body’ from 1 January 2023.

Until then, in GB both the UK marking and the CE marking will be recognised. Manufacturers will either need to:

  • affix the UK marking using a UK-recognised ‘approved body’, or
  • affix the CE marking with UK(NI) indication using a UK-recognised ‘approved body’, or
  • affix the CE marking using an EU-recognised ‘notified body’.

Where no third-party conformity assessment is required (AVCP system 4) the manufacturer can choose whether to affix the UK marking or the CE marking, provided that the underlying requirements are met.

4. What do I need to do to place a product on the EU market after the end of the transition period?

It is for the EU to determine the arrangements that apply. Further information on current arrangements can be found at the EU Commission website.

5. If I am placing products from the EU on the GB market, will my obligations be affected?

If you place products from the EU on the GB market you will, in most cases, now be classified as an ‘importer’ bringing in products to GB from a third country. There will be a requirement:

  • for importers to label their products with their name and address
  • to ensure that the assessment and verification of constancy of performance (AVCP) requirements has been carried out by the manufacturer
  • that the product bears the conformity marking
  • that the manufacturer has complied with their labelling obligations.

In addition, importers must not place products on the GB market if they have reason to believe that the product does not comply with the applicable requirements of the UK Construction Products Regulations.

6. What happens if I am part-way through conformity assessment activity as of 1 January 2021?

Where conformity assessment activity has been undertaken (in full or in part) by a UK notified body and the product has not been placed on the UK market before 1 January 2021, that conformity assessment activity can be used to support the affixing of the UK marking.

If the conformity assessment activity is being undertaken by an EU-recognised notified body, the process can be completed after 1 January 2021 and the CE marking can be affixed in accordance with EU rules, and provided that the goods are placed on the GB market before 31 December 2021 they can be placed lawfully on the GB market with the CE marking.

However, businesses must prepare for the end of recognition of the CE mark on the 1 January 2023 for products being placed on the GB market.

7. Will manufacturers need to test products twice to sell on GB and EU markets?

Businesses must prepare for the end of recognition of the CE mark in GB and affix the UK marking using a UK-recognised ‘approved body’.

In GB both the UK marking and the CE marking will initially be recognised. Manufacturers will either need to:

  • affix the UK marking using a UK-recognised ‘approved body’ or
  • affix the CE marking with UK(NI) indication using a UK-recognised ‘approved body’, or
  • affix the CE marking using an EU-recognised ‘notified body’.

The EU have indicated they will only recognise the CE marking.

From 1 January 2023, businesses must affix the UK marking to place products on the GB market.

8. Can I still use certificates from EU-recognised notified bodies for products placed on the GB market?

Businesses must prepare for the end of recognition of the CE mark in GB and affix the UK marking using a UK-recognised ‘approved body’.

However, until 1 January 2023, the CE marking can be affixed where any third-party conformity assessment has been undertaken by an EU-recognised notified body.

9. Can an EU-recognised notified body certificate be used to enable a manufacturer to affix the UK marking?

No. For a UK marking to be affixed, any third-party conformity assessment must be undertaken by a UK approved body.

However, where CE marking has been legitimately affixed, the product can continue to be placed on the GB market until 1 January 2023. There is no need to affix UK marking in addition to CE marking. After this date, the UK mark must be affixed. This approach should provide manufacturers with sufficient time to make the necessary changes to move over to the UK mark.

10. How do I transfer an existing conformity assessment certificate to an EU-recognised notified body?

Check whether your UK notified body is taking steps of its own to transfer certificates, so that you can continue to export to the EU without needing to find a new EU notified body. If not, you will need to either:

  • arrange for information held by your existing UK notified body to be transferred to an EU notified body so they can issue you a new certificate. This would be subject to contractual arrangements between the EU-recognised notified body, the UK body, and the manufacturer, or
  • get your products reassessed by an EU-recognised notified body.

If your existing certificate is transferred to an EU notified body then you will need to update the 4-digit notified body number on your products. You will not need to do this for products already on the market or which were manufactured before the transfer took place.

A list of EU-recognised notified bodies is available (the UK bodies would be removed from this list at the end of the transition period).

From 1 January 2023, you should also prepare to need separate certificates for the GB and EU markets, so you should speak to both your existing and new body to make arrangements that mean you will be covered for both markets in the future.

11. Will manufacturers supplying products to GB and EU be required to issue two Declarations of Performance for the same product?

An additional Declaration of Performance is not required for the GB market where the obligations of the EU and UK standard for the product are the same (which they will be immediately from the end of the transition period), where the product has been legitimately affixed with CE marking and the declaration of performance is supplied in English. If you wish to affix both the UKCA mark and CE mark to your product, you will need valid Declarations of Performance that meet both the GB and EU CPR regimes’ requirements.

12. How long will GB continue to accept CE marked products?

Businesses must prepare for recognition of the CE mark in GB to end on 1 January 2023. After we have legislated to end recognition of the CE mark in GB, products placed on the market in GB must bear a UK mark.

13. What is meant in the Regulations by ‘place on the market’ and ‘making a product available on the market’?

References in the GB regime to ‘the market’ will mean the Great Britain market, rather than meaning the EU market. Apart from that, these definitions will be unchanged and so operators do not need to change their approach in this regard. See Article 2 in Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 for more information.

‘Placing on the market’ means the first making available of a construction product on the GB market.

‘Making available on the market’ means any supply of a construction product for distribution or use on the GB market in the course of a commercial activity, whether in return for payment or free of charge.

14. Our deal with the EU does not allow for the mutual recognition of standards and testing arrangements. What does this mean for test reports?

Our understanding of the EU Commission’s position is that type test reports issued by UK notified bodies will no longer be valid for the EU market from 1 January 2021. Test type reports issued by UK Notified Bodies will continue to be valid for the GB market, and will allow you to affix the UKCA marking. The UK’s position is that it is down to individual UK bodies to decide whether or not to accept EU-issued type test reports to enable UKCA marking, and ultimately whether or not retesting is required.

Footnotes

1 ‘Placing on the market’ means the first making available of a construction product on the GB market. ‘Making available on the market’ means any supply of a construction product for distribution or use on the GB market in the course of a commercial activity, whether in return for payment or free of charge.

Published 1 September 2020
Last updated 24 August 2021 + show all updates
  1. Guidance has been amended to refer to the new end-date for recognition of the CE mark in Great Britain (1 January 2023), and include clarification regarding the need for additional legislation to end recognition of the CE mark.

  2. First published.