To prepare your construction projects for upcoming changes following the UK’s exit from the European Union, there are several important factors that must be considered to ensure the cables are compliant with regulations and the new UK Conformity Assessment (UKCA) quality mark. Cable performance is critical to the safe, efficient, and reliable operations of energy networks and power infrastructures, which are relied on now more than ever due to the impacts of the coronavirus.

The background

In September the UK government finally communicated the future position regarding CE marking on products under the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). This announcement confirmed that as of 1st January 2021, the new UKCA mark will be effective for cable products to be installed in the United Kingdom. To allow for a smooth transition from CE marking to the UKCA mark, a 12-month period will be applied where CE marked product will still be allowed into the UK. However, all cable products entering the UK market post 1st January 2021 will require a mandatory UKCA. 

From 1st January 2021, UK notified bodies operating under the EU Construction Products Regulation 2011 (EU Regulation No. 305/2011) and based in the UK will be granted new UK ‘approved body’ status and listed on a new UK database. The testing and certification provider, delivering third party approvals to industry, BASEC – The British Approvals Service for Cables is in the enviable position of having established both BASEC UK, currently EU NB2661, which will be granted UK approved body status as above, and BASEC Conformity Limited (BCL) as an EU27 notified body via NB 2851. This means that whether the cable you source for your projects is to be used within the UK or Europe, cables can be certified to meet the required safety standards and levels of quality.

Moving forward

All assessment and verification of constancy of performance activity (AVCP) undertaken by BASEC prior to 31st December 2020 may be used to support affixing of the UKCA marking, if the product is placed on the UK market after this date. Cable manufacturers that transfer their CPR certifications to BASEC prior to 31st December 2020, will be transferred for UKCA compliance in the new year. Meaning they will be fully equipped to supply cables that are in line with the latest regulatory requirements, providing you peace of mind that their quality has been verified.

As of 1st January 2021, BASEC UK and BASEC Conformity Limited’s service offering will allow one set of auditing and testing to satisfy both UKCA (AVCP System 1+ and AVCP System 3) and CE marking (System 1+).

What does this mean for you?

It is vitally important that cable products specified and procured for your construction projects continue to hold third party product certification, such as BASEC, and comply with the relevant regulations and standards to ensure end user safety.

Over recent years a number of catastrophic fires have led to reviews and proposed future changes to the UK regulatory framework. This is driving greater demand for higher performance of the construction products being used in building infrastructures. With cables being a potential mechanism for starting and impacting flame spread, there is an increased focus on ensuring the cables specified are suitable for the buildings and applications they are to be installed in. In the event of a fire, if a cable ignites, it can cause conditions where visibility and air purity are poor, in addition to increasing the risk of secondary fires, via the vehicle of flaming droplets. Due to these important reasons, higher classifications and commitment to on-going surveillance of cable products is in greater demand by the construction industry.

As an independent third party approvals body supporting the cable industry; rigorous on-going testing and auditing of factories enables BASEC to assess and validate the cable manufacturers’ on-going commitment to factory production quality and ensure that cables manufactured are fit for purpose before they enter the UK market. This commitment helps to prove that the cable products being specified and installed in your construction projects are fit for purpose.

To discuss how you can get ready for UKCA please contact the team today

BASEC is the preferred testing and certification partner to the worldwide cable industry. The mark of independent approval is only awarded when cable products have been rigorously tested to meet industry recognised standards. Since 1971, BASEC has been a mark of reassurance for those manufacturing, specifying and installing cable.

01908 267300