With the new UKNI mark fast approaching, builders merchants in Northern Ireland must be up-to-date on the latest changes and deadline for the new product marking system, says UNION, part of the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group. This covers door opening solutions such as fire-resistant and emergency locks, panic exit devices, and door closers.
Coming into force from 1 January 2021, the Northern Ireland Protocol ensures that Northern Ireland will continue to follow the EU’s rules on product standards. The Protocol prevents a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, yet ensures that the UK leaves the European Union while also benefitting from Free Trade Agreements.
For manufactured goods, the UKNI mark is the new conformity marking for products placed on the market in Northern Ireland, which has undergone mandatory third-party assessment by an approved body based in the UK.
Richard Bromley, business development director at the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group, explains: “In essence, CE marking will continue to be used in Northern Ireland after 1 January 2021, to demonstrate products still meet EU standards. However, if a manufacturer uses a UK approved body – rather than an EU notified body – to carry out mandatory third-party assessments, then products must also carry the new UKNI mark.
“These changes can be quite complicated to understand, but it’s crucial that builders merchants understand the implications of door hardware products not having the correct product marking in place. Not only will the product marking be invalidated, but the potential implications for all those involved throughout the supply chain could be very serious. It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure properly certified products are specified.
“To play our part, UNION and the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group is taking vital steps to ensure builders merchants can have complete peace of mind that our door hardware products have undergone the correct third-party assessments for goods being sold into Northern Ireland.”
For existing door hardware solutions from UNION that are CE marked by a UK-based notified body, the company is transferring or re-certifying products with an EU-based notified body.
All new products sold into Northern Ireland will either be CE marked by an EU-based notified body, or a UK-based approved body will be used to gain UKNI marking. In the case of the second option, the product will carry both the UKNI and CE marks.
All relevant documents, such as labels, product packaging, marketing materials, and instruction manuals, will be updated accordingly too.
Bromley adds: “It’s important to add that the UKNI mark will not be recognised in the EU market. In this case, CE marking on its own will suffice.
“Ultimately, we are committed to making sure our customers have the knowledge and support they need to ensure business continues as normal during the next chapter in the UK’s history. In order to make the most of any opportunities, we want to give our customers every assurance that our products are properly certified. If you’re under any doubt as to which door hardware products comply with the latest regulations for Northern Ireland, please know you can have every confidence that our solutions will.
“Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch and we will be more than happy to discuss these with you.”