UL UK CPD Notified Body & CE Marking Service FAQ
Who is UL and UL UK?
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent product safety certification organization that has been testing and certifying products and writing Standards for Safety for over a century. For more information and statistics, visit our About UL pages. UL is the parent company of UL UK. UL UK is headquartered in Guildford, United Kingdom.
What is the Construction Products Directive (CPD)?
The CPD is one of many European New Approach Directives intended to ensure that construction products placed on the market are fit for their intended use. The CPD establishes the essential requirements (mechanical resistance and stability, safety in case of fire, hygiene, health and the environment, safety in use, protection against noise, energy economy and heat retention) that a product must meet. Mandatory standards ( EN and ETAGs) detail how a manufacturer must meet the required essential technical requirements. "Construction product" means any product that is produced for incorporation in a permanent manner in construction works, including both buildings and civil engineering works. Some of the products covered within the CPD include:
- Fire Detection and Alarm Equipment
- Fire Resistance products and systems
- Fire Sprinklers and Valves
- Builders Hardware
- Roofing Products
- Firestop Systems
- Fire Doors and Windows
- Building Materials (concrete, gypsum board, insulation)
The CPD requires the attestation of conformity with the technical specifications. The control of the attestation of conformity of products must be carried out through the following methods, the choice and combination depends on requirements for the particular product or group of products:
- initial type-testing of the product by an approved Notified body;
- testing of samples taken at the factory in accordance with a prescribed test plan by an approved Notified body;
- audit-testing of samples taken at the factory, on the open market or on a construction site by the manufacturer or an approved Notified body;
- testing of samples from a batch which is ready for delivery, or has been delivered, by the manufacturer or an approved Notified body;
- factory production control by the manufacturer;
- initial inspection of factory and of factory production control by an approved Notified body;
- continuous surveillance, judgment and assessment of factory production control by an approved Notified body.
What is the CE marking?
The CE marking is applied to a product by the manufacturer or his representative or importer and indicates that the product or equipment bearing the mark has met the "essential requirements" of all the appropriate New Approach Directives. More than one Directive can apply to many given products.
What is UL UK’s role in this service?
UL International (UK) Ltd., known as UL UK, has been appointed as a Notified Body (NB) to the CPD as a certification and inspection body. The initial scope of the notification includes specific standards in the areas of: 1) Fire Detection and Alarm Equipment and 2) Fire Resistance products and systems.
What does UL’s CE Certificate of Conformity Service entail?
When a customer applies to UL for CE Certificate of Conformity Service, we will be conducting an investigation of their product to the applicable standards (EN or ETAG). The investigation will include: 1) type testing of the product to the applicable standards and 2) an initial inspection of the manufacturer's Factory Production Control (FPC) Process to the FPC requirements contained in the CPD. A CE Certificate of Conformity will be issued once conformance to requirements is established. Additionally, UL will conduct annual surveillance FPC inspections as required by the CPD.
Why is UL offering this service?
UL is offering this service to meet customer's global market access needs. Specifically, UL can provide customers with "one-stop" testing and certification services. Using UL, UL's customers have the opportunity to work with UL for their UL Mark testing and certification needs as well as their needs to comply with the CPD.
What are the manufacturer’s benefits to using UL?
Manufacturers that work with UL for the UL Mark and CE Marking services will gain a competitive advantage using UL as a one-stop-shop for all their product compliance needs. Specifically, UL's CE marking services will provide the following benefits:
- Using one organization, manufacturers will obtain the UL Mark to demonstrate compliance with UL standards and at the same time, obtain the testing and certification needed to demonstrate compliance with the CPD and apply the CE marking for the European market.
- Manufacturers will be able to work with UL technical experts with extensive knowledge and experience in UL, EN standards and ETAGs and the testing needed for multiple markets, resulting in simplified and streamlined product design and modifications as well as project planning and test programs going forward.
- UL will combine the time involved in surveillance visits of the UL Follow-Up Service program with the Factory Production Control inspection required by the CPD, resulting in savings of time and audit expenses, as compared to using multiple European certification organizations.
- For North American customers, conducting testing locally within NA can result in savings in shipping and travel expenses as well as the gain in efficiency by working with one set of technical experts on multiple test programs.
- For European customers, we will use European partners to conduct testing, making it more efficient to conduct your testing locally.
What is the Factory Production Control (FPC) inspection that is required?
An Initial FPC inspection is required during the initial type testing stage and on an annual basis through an on-going Surveillance FPC inspection. FPC is the permanent internal control of production exercised by the manufacturer as required by the CPD. All the elements, requirements and provisions adopted by the manufacturer shall be documented and implemented in a systematic manner in the form of written policies and procedures. This production control system shall ensure a common understanding of conformity evaluation and enable the achievement of the required product characteristics and the effective operation of the production control system to be checked. Factory production control brings together operational techniques and all measures allowing maintenance and control of the conformity of the product with its technical specifications. The manufacturer shall establish, document and maintain a FPC system to ensure that the products placed on the market conform to the stated performance characteristics and the samples subjected to type testing.
How do customers apply for the CE Certificate of Conformity Service?
UL's customers worldwide will be able to apply for this service in the same way they apply for current service, through the online Quote Request form.