The UKCA mark was due to come into effect in January 2023 but at the end of last year the government announced it would be delaying this implementation date to reduce the burden on industry. The CE mark is currently accepted and will continue to be accepted in the GB market until June 2025 for construction products.
However, some manufacturers in the hardware industry had already begun
their transition to UKCA and rather than press pause, continued their journey.
Zoo Hardware for example, will continue to release its products with dual CE and
UKCA markings where applicable.
Hinged on standards
SIMONSWERK has secured UKCA for its multi axis hinges: a feat it is proud of as securing the marking for this type of hinge is a complex process. For multi axis hinges there is no European standard. Prior to Brexit, as there was no joy with the creation of the standard or a new standard, European hinge manufacturers combined to apply for a European Technical Assessment (ETA) via EOTA. This was granted.
Following Brexit the UK government decided not to recognise any European ETA’s to European standards. This left SIMONSWERK UK with an issue regarding its popular TECTUS multi axis hinges; construction industry publications, including the AIJ, were stressing the importance of UKCA marking construction related hardware by the initial deadline of the January 2023.
Having cycle tested TECTUS with European test houses and fire tested with UK test houses SIMONSWERK had the issue of asking the test houses to communicate with each other.
“The European side was fairly straightforward,” says Robin Guy, SIMONSWERK UK managing director, “but from the UK side it was problematic. Enquiries started in 2021 and consultation with the GAI technical team revealed that if an ETA was issued before Brexit date and listed on the UK government respective list a UK Technical Assessment Body (TAB)could be created via a UK test house (UKAS approved). Then they could issue a UK assessment and the UK manufacturer could issue a declaration of conformity and then UKCA mark the product.”
After significant emails and calls further information was discovered. “The UK test houses needed to sign up to be a member of EOTA before they were able to offer a UK TAB,” says Robin Guy. “Only one UK test house was able to offer this service. After more than 12 months of pursuing UKCA markings for multi axis hinges the UK TAB was created, all our test evidence submitted and UK assessment granted. This enabled SIMONSWERK to UKCA mark our TECTUS hinge range and offer a Declaration of Performance.”
Tests and audits
In 2022, Zoo Hardware also emabrked on the UKCA journey. It undertook extensive product testing and certification across its broad suite of hardware solutions in order to meet the original January 2023 UKCA deadline. The business also updated factory control audits to satisfy UKCA requirements.
Jason Tonks, technical product manager at Zoo Hardware, explains: “Whilst we are pleased that clarity of the extension to the deadline has been given for building hardware products, we had already undertaken a lot of work ahead of this and we will therefore be continuing this process.
“It’s imperative that we regularly undertake rigorous third party testing and certification for our products, and meeting the previous January 2023 deadline for UKCA was no exception.
“By continuing to supply our products with the new UKCA mark where possible, we can further provide our industry with reassurance that our products are conforming with the requirements outlined by the UK government.”
Over the last 12 months, Zoo Hardware’s technical team has been working in partnership with its extensive customer base to assist them with the marking transition to ensure compliance is maintained as far down the supply chain
Both Zoo Hardware and SIMONSWERK have extended thanks to the GAI technical team for their help, advice and support.
Douglas Masterson, GAI technical manager says: “The transition from CE to UKCA conformity marking has been a long and arduous process for the ironmongery industry. We have been pleased to support Zoo Hardware and SIMONSWERK as GAI members in their journey to UKCA.”