Construction products could be withdrawn from the country within two years if the government forces all building products to be UK conformity assessed by the 30th of June 2025.
The Construction Leadership Council, CLC, co-chaired by business and industry minister Kemi Badenoch, warned there is insufficient testing capacity for the UK mark to go live by then.
“We will continue to make the case that there should be a consistent approach across all industry sectors and products to CE mark recognition and that this should apply to all construction products,” said the CLC in a statement released today.
Manufacturers urged the Government to include building products in its decision to offer an indefinite extension of the European CE mark for 18 manufactured goods, announced last week.
Both the CLC and product producers argue the UK has insufficient testing capacity to apply the UK conformity assessment (UKCA) mark to all products by 2025.
“This would mean that some construction products will be withdrawn from the UK market from 1 July 2025, with a consequent impact on the delivery of infrastructure, home building and domestic retrofit products,” warned the CLC’s co-chair Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds.
Construction Products Association, CPA, chief executive Peter Caplehorn has warned that constraining product testing and certification to the UK would harm the industry.
“It would take many decades and considerable investment to undertake all the necessary testing and certification solely in the UK, even if manufacturers could be persuaded to take part.”
UK testing regime is unready
The National Federation of Builders, NFB, said the introduction of the UKCA mark coincided with the implementation of the future homes’ standard to reduce carbon emissions of new homes by three quarters.
NFB housing and planning policy head Rico Wojtulewicz said: “Testing and capacity remain major challenges and therefore industry needs clarity and a clear direction of how the Government seeks to reform the UK’s construction product regime.”
Brokers Hank Zarihs Associates said development finance lenders were concerned that UKCA could lead to supply chain delays leading to a further slump in new homes being built.
Recent National House Building Council data showed new homes registration fell by 42 per cent in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2022.
The department of levelling up, housing and communities, DLUHC, confirmed that the UK testing regime on construction products would go live on 30th June 2025.
“We are committed to ensuring the testing regime for construction products is effective and inspires public and market confidence,” said a DLUHC spokesperson.
She said proposals for construction products testing reform would be released in due course. It’s expected to embrace recommendations from the independent review of construction product testing.
Levelling up and housing secretary Michael Gove’s statement on the publication of the review in April 2023 pledged the new testing regime would be based on “high standards and complete transparency”.
Mr Gove commissioned the review following the findings of the Grenfell Tower inquiry where it was highlighted that those responsible for testing failed to adhere to proper procedures in conducting the assessment process. It also noted that manufacturers’ performance claims for products were misleading and were not supported by the assessment process.