The Construction Leadership Council has welcomed the confirmation that the UK government has postponed planned changes to product marking rules, but says that even with the delay challenges will remain.
As part of the UK’s departure from the European Union, changes were due to come into force on 1 January 2022 that would require products that had previously had CE markings shift to the new United Kingdom Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark. Business leaders said forcing them to meet new UK rules would come with significant cost at a delicate moment for the economy.
Industry had raised concerns about whether the sector was ready for the changes, with uncertainty about availability and capacity of testing for products under the new regime. The government has now responded, allowing CE marked products to be sold in the UK for a further 12 months.
“Recognising the impact of the pandemic on businesses, the government will extend this deadline to 1 January 2023 to apply UKCA marks for certain products to demonstrate compliance with product safety regulations, rather than 1 January 2022,” the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said.
CLC Leadership Council co-chair Andy Mitchell said: “Given the widespread pressures on product supply, we welcome this pragmatic decision by the government to extend the deadline for CE-marked products.
“However even with this extension, it will still be very challenging to ensure that the whole sector is ready for the new date, given the need to drive major increases in testing capacity.
“It is vital that industry continues to work with the government to address these issues, ensuring that we don’t just postpone the crisis by 12 months, but instead establish a robust testing and marking regime to ensure the continued safety and performance of the products that we use.”
William Bain, the head of trade policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said the delay to the UKCA mark was welcome but added that fundamental problems in the post-Brexit system could damage British firms.