The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) became mandatory in the UK from 1st July 2013 manufacturers are required to draw up a Declaration of Performance (DoP) and apply CE marking to all of their construction products which is covered by a harmonised European standard (hEN) or conforms to a European Technical Assessment (ETA) which has been issued for it, when such a product is placed on the market.
By definition a construction product is any product or ‘kit’2 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. This is a major change as affixing of CE marking under the provisions of the existing Construction Products Directive (CPD) was voluntary in the UK.
CE marking is a key indicator of a product’s compliance with EU legislation and enables the free movement of products within the European market. By affixing the CE marking on a product, a manufacturer is declaring, on his sole responsibility, conformity with all of the legal requirements to achieve CE marking and therefore ensuring validity for that product to be sold throughout the EEA, the 28 member states of the EU and European Free Trade Association countries - Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Turkey. This also applies to products made in third countries which are sold in the EEA and Turkey. However, not all products must bear the CE marking. Only those product categories subject to specific directives that provide for the CE marking are required to be CE marked.
CE marking does not indicate that a product was made in the EEA, but merely states that the product is assessed before being placed on the market and thus satisfies the legislative requirements, eg a harmonised level of safety, to be sold there. It means that the manufacturer has verified that the product complies with all relevant essential requirements, eg health and safety requirements, of the applicable directive(s) or, if stipulated in the directive(s), had it examined by a notified conformity assessment body.
It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to:
Distributors must verify the presence of both the CE marking and the necessary supporting documentation. If the product is being imported from a third country, the importer has to verify that the manufacturer outside the EU has undertaken the necessary steps and that the documentation is available upon request.
Like any other mark, the CE Mark is misused, it is sometimes affixed to products that do not fulfill the requirements and conditions, or is affixed to products for which it is not required. Despite bearing the mark non-compliant devices can be potentially unreliable and dangerous, presenting electrical and fire hazards. A very similar CE marking has been alleged to stand for China Export because some Chinese manufacturers apply it to their products.
There are mechanisms in place to ensure that the CE marking is put on products correctly. Controlling products bearing CE marking is the responsibility of public authorities in Member States, in cooperation with the European Commission. The procedures, measures and sanctions applying to counterfeiting of the CE marking vary according to the respective Member State's national administrative and penal law. Depending on the seriousness of the crime, economic operators may be liable to a fine and in some circumstances, imprisonment. However, if the product is not regarded as an imminent safety risk, the manufacturer may be given an opportunity to ensure that the product is in conformity to the applicable legislation before it is obliged to take the product off the market.
The CE mark is covered by Council Decision 93/465/EC. Annex B(d) gives these guidelines:
Click here to download the Guidance Notes regarding the Construction Products Regulation
This Crown material has been used under the terms of the http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/2/
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.
Other sources of information: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eutr2013/index_en.htm