CE marking: the new regulatory move

Published:  14 June, 2013

CE markings are to become mandatory as of 1 July 2013. The new regulation will require builders’ merchants to have more knowledge and tighter control of their manufacturers’ specification data.

There are, however, new data storage options, says e-Xact, which can help minimise the time and money involved to make the changes required.

Assigning CE markings to any products covered by a harmonised European standard or European Technical Assessment is currently voluntary.

Under the Construction Products Regulation 2011 (CPR) product manufacturers will be required to make changes to specification documents, technical data sheets and other marketing collateral for products that do not currently have CE Markings. This will cost time, money and maybe significant resources.

According to the regulation, the requirement for CE marking will apply to “any product or kit which is produced and placed on the market for incorporation in a permanent manner in construction works or parts thereof and the performance of which has an effect on the performance of the construction works with respect to the basic requirements for construction works”.

As of July, any products placed on the market that fall under this definition and are covered by a harmonised standard will have to be accompanied by a Declaration of Performance (DoP) and display the CE marking.

If an importer or distributor – including the merchant – places a product on the market under its own name or trademark, or if it modifies a product already on the market, the distributor then assumes the same responsibilities under the CPR as a manufacturer would.

Builders’ merchants and other distributors will need to assure themselves a manufacturer has undertaken all that is required of them under the CPR. This includes:

  • Ensuring products, where required, bear the CE marking and that accompanying documents, instructions and safety information are available
  • Withholding sales of products that do not conform to their DoP
  • Passing on all relevant information to customers when they make a sale
  • Ensuring products still conform to their DoP after storage and distribution
  • Providing information to the relevant government department (on request) about the CE Marking of a product and its compliance/status with the CPR
  • Keeping contact details for the suppliers and buyers of regulated products for up to 10 years.

e-Xact says its database can be used to store the necessary product information and associated documentation required under the CPR. The company has agreed to make some of its features available for use by manufacturers and distributors who don’t already subscribe to the e-Xact service in order to help them meet their obligations. 

This article first appeared in the April 2013 issue of Builders' Merchants News.

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