The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) claims the issue of getting products certified in foreign markets acts as a huge barrier to UK firms looking to grow their business abroad. This issue is a particular problem in Europe, where products need to undergo separate testing for each individual country.
It is hoped that a move to pan-European certification becoming a legal requirement in the EU would allow UK firms to benefit from reduced red tape, simplified export and import requirements and technical innovation throughout the industry.
Alex Carmichael, technical and export director at the BSIA, said a uniformed testing process throughout the EU would also dramatically improve the quality of products and eliminate confusion surrounding which tests are needed for each country.
“A uniform testing process could be achieved by introducing pan-European certification, which would provide a one-stop shop for all quality marks across the continent,” he said.
“This would mean that security products exported would be assessed against requirements shared by all EU countries, therefore dramatically improving the quality of products entering the market and reducing the confusion surrounding which tests are needed for each country.”
He said European-wide certification would reduce costs for companies, giving smaller businesses “a chance to compete on a European level”, and the creation of more opportunities would make improvements by driving the “overall professionalism” of the European security industry.
Geoff Tate, chief executive of specialist certification body SSAIB, also highlighted the lack of recognition between respective European countries’ certification bodies as a huge problem.
He said: “The problem the manufacturers have is that there is a lack of recognition between the bodies that certificate equipment.”
“The big benefit would be you can go to a UK test house or certification body, you can have your products tested and certified and then you should be able to sell it across Europe and across the world – that is the big objective and that will save an absolute fortune,” Tate added.