DHF calls for ‘clarity’ after CE mark extension

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The Door and Hardware Federation (DHF) has stated a requirement for “greater clarity” following the government’s indefinite extension of CE markings.

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) recently declared an unlimited extension of CE mark acknowledgment for items in their remit, such as machinery, low voltage electrical apparatus, pressure equipment, radio apparatus, and EMC.

This decision is anticipated to curtail business expenditures and simplify the product introduction procedure, to the advantage of customers. Nevertheless, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities (DLUHC) has proffered a clarification, noting that this prolongation does not pertain to construction goods, for their acknowledgment of the CE mark will persist solely until 30 June 2025.

The report by Paul Morrell, ‘Testing for a Safer Future: An Independent Examination of the Construction Products Testing Regime’, underscores the intricacies concerning safety-critical construction goods not suitably encompassed by the Construction Products Regulations (CPR), initially conceived to abolish trade hindrances in the EU’s internal market.

Even though the objectives of the CPR have broadened, the European Commission persists in concentrating on “making the internal market function correctly for construction goods by establishing harmonised prerequisites for their marketing.”

Michael Skelding, General Manager and Secretary at DHF, expressed his apprehensions regarding the intent of the UKCA marking in a post-EU alignment context, noting: “We believe that a lucid and unified approach to safety-critical items is paramount for the construction sector.

“By affording more distinct clarity and standardisation, we can ascertain heightened safety standards and market assurance.”

‘Clear roadmap’ imperative Skelding also indicated his endorsement of the notion in the Morrell Report, stating that the UKCA mark ought to represent the calibre and safety of goods rather than harmonised norms ‘agreed and approved’ in the EU.

DHF has urged the government to furnish a ‘clear roadmap’ for overhauling the construction products system, addressing the category of safety-critical goods and the connection between designated and safety-critical standards. By granting clarity, DHF is of the opinion that firms can more adeptly prepare for impending compliance and regulatory shifts.

The Building Safety Act grants the Secretary of State the authority to identify and list ‘safety-critical items’ that have the potential to result in fatality or grievous harm. The DLUHC has indicated that this list will not encapsulate a single group but intends to incorporate additional items not included in the current framework into the regulatory spectrum.

However, DHF has voiced the necessity for a sole category for safety-critical items, governed by set criteria and augmented examination throughout the evaluation and product lifecycle. They propose maintaining the tie between legal regulation and marking for items under the AVCP system to validate their compliance with standards.

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Rebecca Spayne Managing Editor, International Fire Buyer
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