September 2019

UK industry uncovers imports of unverified concrete products

Seating Rings (with-Kitemark)

The image above is an example for how appropriate precast drainage products third party verification marking can look like (with CE Mark to EN 1917 and Kitemark for BS 5911-3). The image is owned by Elite Precast (please seek permission from to use the image).

The findings highlight concerns about the quality and performance of key drainage products

British Precast is the trade association for precast concrete manufacturers and members of the supply chain. The main aims of the federation are to promote precast concrete in the construction market; to disseminate information, through a range of industry representation and by shared knowledge, and to add value to its member companies.

British Precast has discovered that a range of imported precast concrete drainage products such as manhole rings, manhole covers, seating rings, corbels and gully raisers are being placed in the UK market without visible proof of third-party verification or assessment of conformity to relevant European and British standards. As a result, customers can have no confidence in the performance of such products. Third party verification systems are crucial to our industry as they ensure a product’s quality, durability and safe performance in service.

A number of UK industry specifications, such as ‘Sewers for Adoption’, ‘Civil Engineering Specification for the Water Industry’ (CESWI) and different highways’ standards and manuals, require specific precast drainage products to conform to relevant provisions of British Standards such as BS 5911-3. This can only be assured through third-party certification such as BSI’s Kitemark scheme. The industry has a responsibility to demonstrate their products to be safe for their intended use.

Colin Nessfield, Technical Manager of British Precast, advised “Customers, and others in the product supply chain have a responsibility to ensure that the precast drainage products they purchase have the necessary 3rd party assessments and certification, which is the minimum required by the Construction Products Regulation. Ignoring these requirements plays into the narrative that elements of the construction industry are still unconcerned about product safety, quality and client satisfaction.”

Proper certification is vital

Precast concrete elements and products manufactured to harmonised European Standards, with an Assessment and Verification of Constancy of Performance (AVCP) level 2+ legally require Declarations of Performance (DoP) with details of the assessment body and assessment certificates available. Such third-party certification is vital for assuring the safety of products supplied.

British Precast issued a ‘CE Marking’ guide to its member companies to help them demonstrate conformity in accordance with the Construction Products Regulations (CPR) when it became law.

For further information please contact Hafiz Elhag (, Secretary of the British Precast Drainage Association (BPDA) or Colin Nessfield (, Technical Manager of British Precast.