The British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC), has been designated by the UK Government Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) as a Notified Body for conducting cable testing to the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) and a Notified Body for cable product certification to the CPR. BASEC is among the first to be appointed across Europe and one of few to have scope for both activities.

The international cable test and certification body has been assigned the Notified Body number 2661. This number will appear on the label of every piece of cable that BASEC tests or certifies under CPR, before it is distributed and sold. It will also need to appear on all manufacturers’ declarations of conformity for cable products that BASEC has had a role in. In addition, European Union Commission and other Member States have been informed that BASEC has fulfilled the relevant requirements to carry out conformity assessment according to the CPR. As such, BASEC and its identification number has been added to the EU NANDO information system.

The CPR regulation demands that cable manufacturers supplying any type of cable that is intended to fit permanently into the structure of a building (including power distribution, final circuit wiring, control and instrumentation and data communications cables) to European markets, meets the new cable testing, certification and CE marking requirements of CPR by 1st July 2017. Cable wholesalers and distributors supplying into the EU also have a responsibility to ensure the cable manufacturers they work with have done this, or if necessary to undertake the CE marking requirements themselves.

Dr. Jeremy Hodge, chief executive at BASEC said: “In order to meet the CPR requirements before the 1st July 2017 deadline, cable manufacturers and distributors seeking to comply with the CPR must work with a Notified Body. All documentation should be in place by this date or they may risk having their products taken off the market. We are working across the global cable industry to inform, educate and implement CPR for cables. In particular, there has been an increasing demand for CPR training from international cable manufacturers who import cable into Europe from China, the Middle East and the US.”

The benefits of achieving compliance with CPR for cables include free circulation of construction cable in the EU’s single market and cable products only have to be assessed once according to a harmonized European standard. Users of construction cable can also better define their performance requirements and market surveillance is coordinated through one common information structure.  About 4 million tons of low voltage cable is used in Europe each year, much of this in construction, amounting to a value of about 12 billion Euros.

To fulfill the requirements of being a Notified Body, BASEC needed to prove United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accreditation as a certification body to ISO/IEC17065, and UKAS accreditation of its cable test laboratory to ISO/IEC17025 which includes the large-scale vertical ladder test used for CPR, EN 50399, and a number of other common cable tests.

UKAS witnessed individual fire tests, inspected the laboratory and verified requirements for the management of procedures, documentation and records, to confirm BASEC could deliver the service.