A year can seem like a long time but it’s amazing how fast it can go when there’s a deadline. And there’s an important deadline looming. From July 2013 all construction products covered by harmonized European Standards under the Construction Products Regulations will have to be CE marked to be legally sold in the UK and ROI.
Of course many products are already CE marked as the CE mark is already mandatory across most of Europe, but certainly not all are. For fire safety products, certified under attestation level 1, obtaining a CE mark can be a long process, requiring independent testing, factory production control and certification.
What do you need to do?
So what should you be doing? Well, if you’re a manufacturer or importer and haven’t started the process yet my advice is START NOW. If you’re a purchaser then now might be a good time to start checking that your suppliers have the right CE marking or are progressing towards it. If not then maybe they’re not the right supplier for you.
One effect of mandatory CE marking might be a reduction in choice. Any CE marking process can be expensive, but the costs of level 1 attestation for fire safety products may mean that low volume products become too expensive to keep legal, especially in the current economic climate. Buildings can have a long gestation period. Are you sure the products you are specifying now will still be available when you need to order them in 18 months time?
Mandatory CE marking has been with us under other European Directives for some time so it’s well established and we know how to live with it. It’s the transition that can be difficult and will no doubt catch people out. Make sure you’re not one of them.
There’s a useful introductory guidance paper from the CPA available via this link but if you have any questions please send me a message and I will be happy to help:
Paul is a Technical Director for Colt, experienced in smoke control, HVAC, solar shading and louvre systems.