The differences between CE marking and BDA Agrément

  • 9 Aug 2017

What are the differences between CE marking and national approvals such as the BDA Agrément? 

The key difference between CE marking and national approvals – such as BDA Agrément – is that CE marking rarely means that the product covered is fit for all possible purposes.  

The harmonised European Standards, which underpin most CE marks, are focused on the performance factors related to the following Basic Works Requirements in the CPR:

  • Mechanical resistance and stability
  • Safety in case of fire
  • Hygiene health and environment
  • Safety and accessibility in use
  • Protection against noise
  • Energy economy including heat retention
  • Sustainable use of natural resources

However, the architect or main contractor needs to be certain that the product is suitable for all possible purposes, usually by referencing a document or label, with additional information about the project – a Declaration of Performance.

CE marking does not mean that the product meets Building Regulations, however CE marking accompanied by a Declaration of Performance showing to the satisfaction of the architect, contractor or building control body that the product meets the requirements for the building under consideration, will be acceptable under Building Regulations.

A BDA Agrément addresses the different Building Regulations applicable to each part of the United Kingdom and NHBC criteria are also considered. Every BDA Agrément contains a durability statement in addition to installation information, which is absent from CE marking.

Surveillance and inspection vary in CE marking depending on the nature of the product and its role in the building; the more health and safety critical, the more onerous the regime. At the lower end of the scale the manufacturer or importer can simply declare that the relevant product complies with the Standard and apply the CE mark, with no continuing surveillance.

With all products approved by Kiwa BDA, testing is undertaken and the resulting data assessed by Kiwa experts, and if the approval is awarded the manufacturer is subject to continuing surveillance by inspectors throughout the validity of the approval. 

Therefore, specifiers, users and building owners can have total confidence that all products with a BDA Agrément will be – and perform – exactly as set out in the document.


Kiwa UK Group
Kiwa House,
Melvern View Business Park,
Stella Way, Bishops Cleve,
Cheltenham.  GL52 7DQ

Tel: +44 (0)1242 677877

Visit the Kiwa BDA website

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