David Burns's Podcast


December 31, 2023 David Burns
David Burns's Podcast
Show Notes

Like me, are you fed up with the Certification Bodies and Approved Bodies mischief making over the CE and UKCA... years have gone since Brexit, but they still constrain trade through confused messages. 

Let us be clear. UKAS is a signatory of the EA Multilateral Agreement (EA MLA) which is a signed agreement between the EA (European Accreditation) Members whereby the signatories recognize and accept the equivalence of the accreditation systems operated by the signing members, and also the reliability of the conformity assessment results provided by accredited bodies by the signing members.

As signatory to the EA MLA the accreditation system operated by UKAS continues to be accepted by the other signatories as equivalent to their own accreditation system and declare, when requested, conformity assessment results (e.g. reports or certificates) issued by those accredited by UKAS for the relevant scope to the EA MLA, to the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ILAC MRA) and to the IAF Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (IAF MLA) as reliable.

With this in mind, UKAS accreditation is recognized and accepted throughout the EU; does this mean that the UKCA Mark will be accepted throughout the EU in the same way as the CE Mark? 

Well, it certainly reads that way, because the UK has adopted all the EU legislative "product directives" into Statutory Instruments - otherwise, what would be the point of UKAS remaining a member of EA? If not to facilitate UK trade within the EU market?

In brief, when being audited and certificated against the BS 1090 in the UK (UKCA), this will translate into EN 1090 (CE), because it is one of the same (against the CPR).

That said, within the UK market, we have a keen focus on the NSSS 7th Edition, coupled with the “customer contract” specification being the “legal precedence” over the content of EN 1090. Refer to the NSSS 7th Edition clause 1.2.3, where the contract technical specification takes precedence over the EN 1090-2 content.

From the top and to recap:

·         Legal Framework - Compliance with the “Construction Products Regulation” (CPR) is the law within the UK (and the EU).

·         Product Declaration - Compliance with the “United Kingdom Conformity Assessment” (UKCA) is the law within the UK (as per the CE).

·         Legal Responsibility – Anyone that places a UKCA Marked product onto the UK market becomes the responsible manufacturer of the product in the eyes of the law.

The BS 1090 Certification is NOT the law in the UK (the customer contract and technical specification - takes precedence over the content of the EN 1090-2 / EN 1090-4). The CPR is the legal framework.

The BS 1090 simply provides a “small” point of reference for “Factory Production Control” as per BS 1090-1 Clause 6.3 and makes references to UKCA Marking. 

The legal reference for the UKCA Mark within the United Kingdom with reference to the CPR is the Statutory Instrument – UK SI1620 - previously known as the Regulation (EU) No 305/2011. Then we must also consider "professional and technical qualifications" of those involved with - structural design, the architect, the engineers, the auditors, etc. The customer contract agreement is key to compliance.

One other thing to consider. Just because UKAS is a part of EA, does not mean instant recognition of professional qualification - "UK professional qualifications may not be recognized in the EU (and vice versa), although the UK and EU member states could decide to unilaterally recognize each other’s professional qualifications or provide streamlined routes to re-qualification".