BASEC – The British Approvals Service for Cables – provides answers to some of the common questions about the replacement for CE marking in the UK and explains the cable classifications as part of the Construction Products Regulation:
What is UKCA and how is it structured?
UKCA stands for UK Conformity Assessed. Effective as of January 1, 2021, it is a new product marking for goods sold into the UK entering the market. The UK approval scheme is a mirror of the current CPR, all EN standards become UK designated standards and are identical to their EN equivalents. In this way, the Assessment and Verification of Constancy of Performance (AVCP), both the testing and factory production are no different.
What does UKCA or CPR testing involve?
There are seven classification levels, which determine the fire performance of a cable in terms of its reaction to fire. The scale runs from Aca, Bca through to Fca.
There are 3 AVCP systems. System 1+ represents the higher classifications Aca to Cca, System 3 relates to Dca and Eca and System 4 is self-certification of a manufacturer’s own in-house testing. The tests involved vary based on the classification sought. The systems are specifically designed to provide accurate and reliable assessments. Manufacturers and stockists are required to issue a Declaration of Performance document, known as a DoP, when they place a cable product on the market.
Can I still use certificates issued by EU-recognised notified bodies for products placed on the UK market?
As a part of the move away from CE marking to UKCA, the UK Government has allowed a 1-year transition period, which means until January 1, 2022, you will be permitted to use CE marked product that fulfils the below criteria and are:
• Covered by a harmonised European standard, which is the same as a UK designated standard
• Affixed with CE marking
• Accompanied by a manufacturer’s declaration of performance
• Assessed by an EU-recognised notified body, where third party assessment is required.
Will manufacturers supplying products to UK and EU be required to issue two Declarations of Performance (DoP) for the same product?
Prior to December 31, 2021 two separate DoPs will not be required. The transition window will remain open until December 31, 2021 during which DoPs marked with CE approval, issued in the English language, will be accepted into the GB market.
What does this mean for products placed on the European market?
CE marking will remain in place for products placed on the market within Europe, such as the Republic of Ireland. BASEC is listed in Europe, Ireland via BASEC Conformity Limited, as NB 2851 accredited by INAB. This sits alongside BASEC UK Limited NB 2661. BASEC can provide CPR certification via BASEC UK for UKCA marking System 1+ and System 3 or BASEC Conformity Limited for CE marking of System 1+.