Although the deadline for the UKCA certification process has been pushed to 30 June 2025, manufacturers of structural timber fasteners and fixings are being told to start now with getting products tested amidst a shortage of approved testing facilities in the UK.
The advice, from Warringtonfire, a testing, inspection and certification company, warns that manufacturers who opt to wait run the risk of finding themselves with nowhere to test their products, as there are only a handful of UKAS-accredited testing facilities in the UK.
Accredited testing to enable UKCA marking can only be issued by an approved body listed on the UK government’s database. Under the UK Construction Products Regulation, from 30 June 2025, manufacturers of structural timber fasteners and fixings within the scope of the UK Designated Standard BS EN 14592 must successfully complete the testing process by a UK based laboratory for any product to be placed on the UK market. This also applies to any products undergoing a chance in specification.
Ben Sharples, Commercial Lead at BM TRADA and sister company to Warringtonfire, said: “UKCA marking is very important for the construction industry, as it symbolises that the product being used conforms to the relevant standard and is a mark of integrity. It is very important that fasteners and fixings manufacturers do not get lulled into a false sense of security with this extended deadline on UKCA marking.
“There are only a few UKAS-accredited bodies in the UK that are able to test fasteners and fixings, of which Warringtonfire is one of them, that will then allow you to go on and achieve UKCA certification. Manufacturers need to be aware that any products on the UK market after the June 2025 will need to have this testing completed. This goes for products undergoing a change in their specification too. For instance, fasteners and fixings that have a change in design or coatings, will also need to be re-tested to gain the UKCA marking and confirm their stated performance.”
To help accommodate the rush for testing, Warringtonfire has launched its Fastener Testing Laboratory in High Wycombe. The laboratory can undertake assessments of performance for structural timber fastener and fixing products, so that manufacturers can UKCA mark them to BS EN 14592.
Accreditation for the laboratory was achieved thanks to the expertise of its technicians as well significant investment into high-calibre testing equipment. The facility includes a universal testing machine for compression and tensile testing, a series of bespoke testing rigs, and conditioning rooms for structural timber samples.
The organisation will offer a range of geometric and mechanical testing procedures for dowel type fasteners from a particular group of structural timber fixings, comprising of nails, screws, staples, dowels and bolts. The laboratory can also test steel fixings used to create joints between timber components or to attach other materials to timber.
UKCA certification became mandatory for all new construction products placed on the market in Great Britain as of 1 January 2021, as the UK transitions away from the EU-recognised CE Marking. The original cut-off date for UKCA marking for all applicable construction products placed on the GB market was 1 January 2023, before being pushed to the new date in 2025.
“Although many manufacturers have successfully achieved UKCA certification, a sizeable number have not,” said Ben. “Lead times for testing are long, and laboratory availability is in short supply. The longer the delay in getting the process started, the more likely manufacturers are to be caught out, and this then affects them being able to sell or launch their new products. Our advice is to get in touch as soon as possible, to ensure a smooth transition and prevent any disappointment down the line.”