Third Party Approvals are often mandatory to enable market entry and product sales.
Managing product approvals with test houses and laboratories can be a time consuming and often very frustrating process.
In order to free up precious time and make the achievement of a pass and certification a reliable outcome, we can undertake the management of the WRAS and gas approval process on behalf of our clients.
We will manage the application process from application through to approval/certification including:
- Undertake initial product study
- Study product drawings and advise on the suitability of materials and components and the testing required.
- Preparation and submittal of all application documentation
- Pay the laboratory fees on the client’s behalf
- Liaise with the test house on a regular basis
- Manage the application to final approval and certification
Typical approvals include:
WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme)
Any water fitting, which when installed, will carry or receive water from the public mains water supply in the UK, must comply with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations or Scottish Byelaws. These require that a water fitting should not cause waste, misuse, undue consumption or contamination of the water supply and must be ‘an appropriate quality and standard’.
WRAS Approval is the easiest way to demonstrate compliance as it is granted directly by representatives of the water suppliers and is therefore accepted by every water supplier in the UK.
Any non-metallic materials or components which come into contact with drinking water must meet the requirements of BS6920.
BS6920-1:2014 is the British Standard which covers the suitability of non-metallic products for use in contact with water intended for human consumption. The laboratories carry out a wide range of tests in both hot and cold water to assist manufacturers in product development including:
- Odour and Flavour assessment
- Growth of biofilm testing
- Extraction of metals testing
- Total organic carbon leaching
- Extraction of substances of concern to human health (Cytotoxicity) testing
We liaise with the WRAS approved UKAS accredited laboratories who carry out routine testing for Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) Approval (BS 6920) and manage the application process for you. If required we will also manage the listing process once successful testing has been completed.
DWI (Drinking Water Inspectorate) Regulation 31
DWI is a division of DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and provides an independent reassurance that water supplies in England and Wales are safe.
To qualify for approval a product must be intended for use in contact with public water supplies in the UK, at any point from the source (usually the treatment works) to the boundary of the premises to which the water is supplied. Products in contact with water beyond the boundary should be approved by WRAS.
Products with low contact ratio with the water (such as valves) do not require DWI approval but any non-metallic materials used in products must meet the requirements of BS6920.
DWI does not provide a consultancy service for applicants but recommends the use of a consultant who has experience with the requirements of national regulatory authorities.
Primotek has extensive experience securing DWI approvals for our clients for a wide selection of products, for example:
- Articulated tankers for transporting potable water
- Underdrains for water treatment plants
- Fast setting mortar
- Motorised water bowsers
- Cement lined ductile iron pipes
We will manage the approval process which will include:
- Study the product
- Study the appropriate DWI Advice Sheets
- Prepare an action plan and discuss with DWI
- Manage any material/product testing
- Prepare the application
- Prepare the Instructions for Use
- Submit the application
- Paying all fees and invoices on behalf of the client
EN 331 (Ball Valves for Gas Service)
EN 331: Manually operated ball valves and closed bottom taper plug valves for gas installations in buildings
EN 331 is a harmonised standard with an Annex ZA. Where ball valve products are claimed to be manufactured to this standard it is mandatory for them to be CE marked in accordance with the Construction Products Regulations 305/2011 which came into force on 1 July 2013.
One of the most onerous aspects of the various tests required is Resistance to High Temperature.
Primotek has extensive experience of ball valve design, testing and applications. Where a client requires approval of ball valve products to EN 331 we can manage the approval process on their behalf with testing undertaken by an independent accredited test house.
We always thoroughly examine the test samples and drawings and will liaise with the client to resolve any issues prior to sending the test samples to the Test House.
Applications are made by us on behalf of our client and final approval documents will only bear our client’s details.
BSI (National Grid Transco)
BSI offers a full range of testing and certification services including pre-assessment, gap analysis, batch testing and full compliance testing. Their dedicated centre of excellence in Loughborough, UK is where their test engineers are based and where testing is carried out.
BSI Assurance UK Limited is UKAS accredited to supply verification certification to National Grid Transco standard T/SP/PRS/38: April 2007 (Specification for Manually Operated Lugged Wafer Butterfly Valves).
This certification is essential for acceptance of these valve types used in low pressure gas meter installations with operating pressures not greater than 75 mbar and for valve sizes in the range DN50 to DN250.
We fully understand the specific product standard requirements in relation to valve design and performance as well as the verification and testing process.
We also have a detailed understanding of the end users once verification certification has been received which allows us to offer you both technical and commercial support.
A significant portion of our workplace experience has been spent in overseas markets and therefore we understand that key to achieving marketing success for a product is the attainment of the relevant approval.
In some cases, these approvals are required for acceptance by users and in others mandatory to allow product usage in that particular market.
We have significant experience and have worked with a variety of authorities and test houses overseas to understand the processes required for approval.
In markets that are new to us, we can invest the time required to review the local requirements to help guide you along this process.
Overseas approvals can be a daunting and time consuming process, particularly when you have other more pressing daily needs.
Customer Specific Approvals
Significantly larger companies or users have their own approval process – a gateway which is often difficult or impossible to pass through until the relevant technical files have been submitted and assessed and in some cases when products have been submitted for in-house type test.
In other cases, independent third party inspection, testing and certification is required prior to consideration by the end user.
Sometimes these processes can be tortuous and frustrating, eating many hours of valuable resource.
That’s where we come in!
We will run this process as an outsourced confidential part of your technical and commercial team, working with the client as your representative to facilitate the successful approval.
If required we will visit the client on your behalf and report in full after each meeting, agreeing milestones and actions until this process is completed.