News that publication of the Building Safety Bill will delay the date for ending recognition of CE marked construction products in the UK is a bit of a dilemma for UK-based TRA members.
As most construction product manufacturers in the UK almost exclusively supply to their national market, many TRA members have been keen to switch to UKCA marking as soon as possible to promote their businesses.
While this can be relatively easily achieved for trussed rafters, with support from their third-party quality assurance provider, there is currently no technical route to achieve UKCA marking for metal web joists. This is because trussed rafters have a designated standard, BS EN 14250:2010, as the basis for certification, while metal web joists use the alternative European Assessment Document (EAD), EAD 130031-00-0304, as their basis for certification.
The consequence is that any TRA member who has started UKCA marking their trussed rafters has to maintain a contract with a UK approved body to oversee that part of their business, while also dealing with an EU notified body to maintain CE marking on metal web joists. In some circumstances this means additional costs. But in all cases, it also means additional administration, which is the last thing TRA members need at the present time.
However, dealing with two separate quality assurance bodies is still better than the alternative the industry could have been facing at the end of the year: a complete breakdown of third-party checks on metal web joists and any other construction products which achieve certification via an EAD.
As the 1 January deadline next year will no longer be the regulatory threshold for ending recognition of CE marked construction products in the UK, it is hoped contractors and merchants will continue to accept new CE marked construction products beyond this point, but buyers are free to choose.
Nicola Law, quality and certification manager at Pasquill, says: “We have been exploring Pasquill’s options with certification since 2018. Initially, we continued with CE marking for both Posi-Joists and trussed rafters while we clarified what was expected and whether any of our products ended up in Europe after manufacture. This involved contacting certification bodies and working closely with auditors to keep up to date with the latest plans.
“Now, our trussed rafters have been issued UKCA mark certificates by BMTrada. While they currently sit alongside the existing CE marking, later in the year we will fully switch across to UKCA only under BS 14250:2010. This will involve notifying the certification bodies, issuing new certificate numbers and updating our declarations. We will also update our software provider to update the system with relevant updated logos.
“Meanwhile, joists are not on an EN standard, but instead fall under a European Technical Agreement (ETA), which means they are not written by a standards agency but by a manufacturer. As a result, they are not currently recognised by the UK government, and we are currently waiting on their decision on the future of certification. However, we are tracking the situation closely and are confident that our robust procedures will allow us to react as soon as a decision is made.”
Until the UK Government sets a legal end point for recognition of CE marked construction products, the TRA and its members are encouraged to get the message out there that CE marked metal web joists remain the legal and best route to ensuring their customers receive the consistent high-quality products they expect.
If you need more information on this issue contact Nick Boulton – firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 020 3205 0032