Are you aware of recent changes to legislation, effective as of the 1st July? From this date, CE marking will be compulsory for all construction products.
CE marking validates pan-European standards and regulations that are in place and ensures compliance.
Previously CE marking has been prominent on electrical items, but now it applies to all products used in construction – including bathroom items such as the shower enclosure. Importantly for developers, even showering surrounds supplied by glass contractors must also conform to the CE mark.
The CE marking indicates that a product complies with EU regulation. Our current European Standard for shower enclosures is EN14428. This is in the process of being updated throughout the EU to bring itself up to speed with all the finer points of CE marking. This updated Standard has not yet been ratified and this may not be for 6, 12 or even 18 months. In the meantime we have to CE mark against what is legally in place and this is the only thing that can be stamped on the glass or affixed to a product.
It is a self-certification scheme and it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure their products conform to the relevant regulations.
At Roman, we design and manufacture our range of products here in the UK, so we began testing them to ensure that they conform to every detail of the CE mark at the end of 2012. Our range has carried the CE Mark since February 2013, in preparation for this change in legislation.
This is the most critical change to legislation, for a long time, for retailers, housebuilders, merchants and specifiers to be aware of. We have a responsibility as a manufacturer to ensure our enclosures conform to the standard, but the final reseller of the products (retailers, housebuilders and merchants) also have a responsibility to ensure the products they stock, or are specifying, also conform to the Standard.
Large fines and imprisonment can be the ultimate result for knowingly selling non-conforming products, so we would strongly urge all retailers and merchants to ask the right questions around CE marking to all their suppliers.
Trading Standards are the enforcement body for England, Wales and Scotland. The Environmental Health Authority covers Northern Ireland. They have been tasked with appropriate Market surveillance. The ultimate enforcement authority across the UK is the Secretary of State. Any noncompliance will be transmitted across Europe. Failure to comply with any aspect of the CPR can lead to the following steps being taken:
Checking whether a product carries the CE marking is fairly straightforward as manufacturers must make the declaration of performanceavailable to their customers. We have all our declaration of performance available on our website, for quick and easy access. The CE marking must also be included on the product – we include ours on the instruction manual and within our brochures to highlight conformance.
Although this may sound complicated, CE marking is all very positive. The fundamental point of CE marking is to ensure adherence to harmonized European Standards. This is essentially achieved by outlawing poor quality products; to highlight suppliers with no infrastructure who will fall foul of CE marking; and significantly to ensure that the final Re-seller is taking responsibility for the safety, Standards compliance, service and traceability of all the products that they sell and represent. In short, it will result in better quality products being sold in the UK.