August 2, 2023

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UPDATE: PPE finally receives CE marking extension while some fire safety products miss out

Products that could include some fire safety items not part of deadline while safety trade association says Government support is “hollow”.

Construction items that include products in the fire safety sector have not been included in the Government’s indefinite extension of CE marking, announced yesterday by the Department for Business and Trade (DfBT).

The other 18 sectors that fall under the DfBT – which includes PPE – have been given the extension for the use of CE marking, a standard used to certify products that have been assessed and met stringent safety and health requirements.

Construction products fall under the remit of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and will therefore continue to face the original 30 June deadline to conform to United Kingdom Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking, the certification brought in following Brexit to replace the CE mark.

However, it received widespread opposition from the business communities expressing concerns about competent testing and increasing costs, and an original deadline of January 2022 was extended.

Alan Murray, CEO of BSIF

Alan Murray, CEO of the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF), while welcoming the news, was unimpressed by the changing timeframes leading up to the extension. “The announcement…that CE marking will continue to be accepted when placing manufactured goods, including PPE, on the market in Great Britain indefinitely, was in many ways not a surprise, given the number of times planned implementation dates had already been pushed back.

On revealing the new deadline, the Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said: “The Government is tackling red tape, cutting burdens for business, and creating certainty for firms – we have listened to industry, and we are taking action to deliver.”

“The spin on the announcement was, as one would expect around support for business and reducing red tape,” continued Murray. “This claim of “support” is hollow! It is something that should have been done three years ago, avoiding the excessive financial investment in UKCA compliance by BSIF members and also the very significant costs for Approved Bodies setting up and establishing themselves in the UK in order to be able to give product approval decisions under the now, at best, side-lined UKCA regime.”

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