What is the new Construction Products Regulator?
Next year the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) will be launching a new Construction Products Regulator (CPR). This follows the Hackitt Review which recommended that a regulator for construction products be established. A new Building Safety Bill (which will introduce new regulations) is currently going through Parliament.
What will the new regulations do?
The regulations will place new obligations on manufacturers (likely to include own branders) of construction products, especially in business-to-business transactions. Currently, construction products sold to consumers are subject to the General Product Safety Regulations which places a general requirement on products to be safe. Currently, there is no general safety requirement in business-to-business transactions.
What is a construction product?
A construction product is defined as "any product or kit which is produced and placed on the market for incorporation in a permanent manner in construction works or parts thereof and the performance of which has an effect on the performance of the construction works with respect to the basic requirements for construction works".
What will the new obligations be on manufacturers?
- There will be a new general safety requirement, requiring construction products to be safe before they can be placed on the UK market
- There will be a list of safety-critical products. These products will require compliance with a designated standard
What will manufacturers be required to do before placing a construction product on the market?
- Carry out a risk assessment
- Reduce or eliminate risks identified as far as possible and provide users with information about any risks that remain
- Provide technical documentation and customer information
- Label product with their details
- Take corrective measures (correct, withdraw or recall) where a product is not safe
- Undertake sample testing where appropriate, keep a register of complaints and inform enforcement authorities and others in the supply chain where the product presents a risk
How will the new regulations be enforced?
The regulations will be enforced by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) and local trading standards services (TSS). We believe that OPSS will increase their enforcement resourcing. The enforcement outcomes will be monetary penalties and/or custodial sentences, in the most extreme of cases. OPSS and TSS are likely to try and educate and work with non-compliant businesses in the first instance.
What’s next and what are the timelines?
The Building Safety Bill, which will give OPSS powers to enforce the new regulations is currently going through Parliament. It was introduced into Parliament in July 2021. OPSS has been unable to provide a timeline of when the regulations will come into force. After the Bill has been through Parliament there will be an official consultation. The progress of the bill can be viewed here.
How can I as a retailer get involved?
The BRC are attending several key meetings and closely monitoring this area. If you have views or would like to know more email Retail Products Policy Advisor firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a BRC member, sign up for buying community updates here.
Where can I read the draft regulations?