In the guide
Note: although the United Kingdom has left the European Union, certain pieces of legislation (formally known as 'retained EU law') will still apply until such time as they are replaced by new UK legislation; this means that you will still see references to EU regulations in our guidance.
This guidance is for England, Scotland and WalesTwo pieces of legislation make amendments to the regime for construction products:
- Construction Products (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019
- Construction Products (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020
When products are placed on the UK market, it is mandatory for manufacturers to draw up a declaration of performance and apply the UKCA mark to any of their construction products that are covered by a designated standard*, or conform to a 'UK technical assessment' (UKTA) that has been issued for them.
[*'Designated standards' are those approved by the Secretary of State and published by the British Standards Institution (BSI).]
The Construction Products Regulations 2013, which implement Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 laying down harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products, cover four main elements:
- system of harmonised technical specifications
- agreed system of conformity assessment for each product family
- framework of notified bodies
- UKCA marking of products
Since 1 January 2021, UK notified bodies operating under Regulation No 305/2011 and based in the UK have had a new UK 'approved body' status and listed on a new UK database. Approved bodies will be able to undertake conformity assessment activity for designated standards. Where an approved body has undertaken the assessment, the manufacturer (or their authorised representative) must affix the UKCA mark.
The following terms are used throughout this guidance:
- United Kingdom (UK): England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
- Great Britain (GB): England, Scotland and Wales
- Northern Ireland (NI)
- European Union (EU): there are 27 Member States of the EU, including Ireland but not any of the UK countries
Definition of a construction product
In Regulation (EU) No 305/2011, a construction product is defined as "any product or kit which is produced and placed on the market for incorporation in a permanent manner in construction works or parts thereof and the performance of which has an effect on the performance of the construction works with respect to the basic requirements for construction works". This definition will remain the same after the transition period.
Construction products include products such as doors, windows, shutters and gates, membranes, thermal insulation products, chimneys and flues, sanitary appliances, fire alarms, flooring, fire retardant products, space heating appliances, power cables, glass, and fixings.
UKCA, UKNI and CE marking
There is a legal requirement for certain products to be UKCA-marked when placed on the internal UK market. UKCA marking is a key indicator of a product's compliance with UK legislation. By affixing the UKCA mark on a product, a manufacturer is declaring conformity with all of the legal requirements to achieve UKCA marking.
It is the manufacturer's responsibility to carry out the conformity assessment in accordance with the legislation. Although not all construction products sold in the UK need to bear UKCA marking, if a construction product does require a UKCA mark but does not have one, it is illegal to place it on the UK market.
You should know what products must bear the UKCA mark and the accompanying documents required, and should be able to identify products that are clearly not in compliance.
Where NI is involved, there is a further mark that is used: the UKNI mark.
The expectation is for businesses to fully implement the new UK regime as soon as possible after 1 January 2021. To allow businesses time to adjust, some CE-marked goods, that meet EU requirements, may continue to be placed on the GB market.
However, this arrangement will end on 1 January 2022, and businesses should ensure they are prepared for the new system before it comes into effect.
The changes that were made in March 2019 to be implemented at the end of the post-Brexit transition period will apply in England, Wales and Scotland only. The regime in NI will match the EU requirements for construction products. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has produced guidance on the Regulation, which can be found on the GOV.UK website. Although this guide does not include detailed information for NI, there is specific guidance for Northern Ireland on the GOV.UK website.
For more information on the work of trading standards services - and the possible consequences of not abiding by the law - please see 'Trading standards: powers, enforcement and penalties'.
Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 laying down harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products
Last reviewed / updated: May 2021
In this update
Definition of 'designated standard' added