One of the world’s largest certification bodies has added another string to its bow by becoming an approved body for the UKCA product certification scheme.

AFNOR UK, a subsidiary of the French standardisation operator AFNOR Group, sought UKCA marking accreditation in conjunction with sister company Certigaz to serve UK businesses post-Brexit, as well as international clients.

West Midlands-headquartered AFNOR UK can now offer UKCA as a standalone certification, or, working alongside another sister company, Afnor Certification, combined with CE marking, for gas appliances, with the organisation close to becoming approved to cover construction materials, fire safety and PPE.

Previously, companies in the UK were required to comply with European Union safety, health, and environmental requirements as part of CE (European Conformity) marking, which also indicated a product’s compliance with legislation and allowed free movement within Europe.

From 1 January 2021, the UK government implemented its own UKCA for products placed on the market in England, Scotland, and Wales, with companies given until 1 January 2023 to get marked.

To facilitate the UKCA, the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredits conformity assessment bodies (CABs) to enable them to be appointed as approved bodies in accordance with the relevant legislation.

As a result of the accreditation, AFNOR UK can offer both UKCA marking and CE marking, acting as a one stop shop for clients, which makes the movement of gas-related products easier across Europe.

UKCA is not a substitute for CE marking in the European Economic Area (EEA) outside of Great Britain.

Ben Salter, technical and accreditation manager at AFNOR UK, said: “When the plan to roll out the UKCA was announced, there was a consensus in the marketplace that finding a solution between the UK and the European Union to recognise each other’s testing was the ideal outcome.

“It became apparent that that was not possible, so we were quick to move forward to become an approved body by UKAS for UKCA, which is crucial for businesses in England, Scotland and Wales.

“With companies having less than 12 months to get marked, we are urging those affected to seek support as soon as possible to ensure there is no disruption to their operations.

AFNOR UK is already in the process of delivering UKCA across sectors including manufacturing and renewable energy.

Ben added: “Afnor UK offering UKCA accreditation across the full suite will be testament to the hard work and dedication of the team to ensure UK businesses have access to the services they require to continue operating efficiently, effectively and compliantly.

“We know some of our clients, as well as prospective clients, have been waiting for us to be accredited, and it’s great that we can now offer even more support with their specific business needs.”

Picture: Ben Salter, technical and accreditation manager at AFNOR UK