The introduction of CE marking for construction products on 1 July 2013 is the most significant change in a decade in the way in which construction products are sold in UK and is going to take some time to fully embed into the manufacture, design, specification and construction process. In spite of scaremongering from some sections of the industry and the media, there is really nothing to fear from CE marking!
To help specifiers and contractors understand some of the basics of CE marking, the metal roofing and cladding industry has drafted a series of questions and answers to deal with some of the myths surrounding this subject. Here’s a selection:
- If a product carries a CE mark will it be more expensive than the same category of product without a CE mark? If the product category is covered by a harmonised European Standard then all products in that category must carry a CE mark and therefore affixing a CE mark will not add any differential cost to the product.
- Will a CE mark provide a guarantee? A CE mark indicates that the product manufacturer has drawn up a Declaration of Performance (DOP) and it meets with a recognised and regulated European standard or assessment process; it does not offer any additional guarantee.
- How can I establish if products used within the roofing and cladding assembly require a CE mark? Contact the manufacturer or distributer for the product via the MCRMA web site or contact the MCRMA directly for advice.
- Do all construction products have to carry a CE mark? No, only products subject to a harmonised European standard known as a hEN or conforms to a European Technical Approval (ETA) are obliged to carry a CE mark.
- Should I only specify construction products which carry a CE mark? If a product is covered by a hEN/ETA then the manufacturer is obliged to affix a CE mark an provide a DOP. However, it generally means that there is not a harmonised European standard or ETA available for the product. It does not mean that the product is inferior; in most cases the product will conform to a national standard and the manufacturing company will have detailed QA records. However, you must ensure that the product is fit for purpose.
- I have been informed that a composite panel is the only roofing and cladding system that can be CE marked. Is this true? No, this is not true. The CE marking of a composite panel is covered by BS EN 14509 but the associated products which make up the total system, such as the fasteners and rooflights, are dealt with by their own harmonised product standard or CUAP. As for the sealants used to weatherproof the joints between panels during the construction phase, these cannot be CE marked because currently there is no harmonised standard or specialist CUAP for the product.
- I have been informed that twin skin roofing or cladding systems cannot be CE marked. Is this true? A twin skin roofing and cladding system is made up of many different component parts and the nature of the system is such that specialist CUAPs or harmonised standards have been developed for the individual components to ensure that they meet their specific needs.
I hope this blog has answered some of your questions – the full list of questions can be downloaded here. More detailed information can be found in the dedicated section on CE marking at www.mcrma.co.uk/ce_marking.htm