CE - Marking
The EU Construction Products Regulation took effect on 1 July 2013. According to this regulation, all construction products must bear a CE marking within a few years - but what does this mean, exactly?
What does the CE marking mean?
If a product bears a CE marking, you can assume that the product meets the relevant legal requirements relating to safety, health, and the environment. A CE marking and the accompanying Declaration of Performance list the product's characteristics and performance. In the case of a construction product with a CE marking, this means that you can assume that the product has been tested and evaluated in accordance with European technical methods and/or specifications.
Is a CE marking required for every construction product?
A CE marking is not yet required for all construction products, but within a few years every construction product will have to be given a CE marking for construction products. In conformity with the Construction Products Regulation, a CE marking is required if there is a Harmonised European Standard for that particular product.
The Construction Products Regulation is applicable throughout the European Union and can be seen as European law which does need implementation at the national level.
CE marking and the declaration of performance
In addition to the CE marking, the Construction Products regulation also requires that products have a Declaration of Performance (if that product has a Harmonised European Standard available).
The Declaration of Performance, as one might imagine, provides information about the product's performance, and naturally manufacturers and importers provide this information to buyers such as contractors, wholesalers, and private individuals (and possibly also to indirect buyers such as architects).
Are roof hatches also required to have a CE marking?
Roof hatches are not yet required to have a CE marking. This is because, as mentioned earlier, there is not yet a Harmonised European Standard for this product. Of course we are interested in this topic, and therefore we have investigated the process by which a product receives a CE marking.
The first step in this complex procedure is to submit a request to the European Organisation for Technical Approvals (EOTA). Manufacturers and importers of a product submit a request that EOTA elaborate a special European Technical Approval Guideline (ETAG) or a Common Understanding Assessment Procedure (CUAP).
Then, on the basis of this ETAG or CUAP, a European Technical Assessment (ETA) is written on the basis of the ETAG or CUAP. Naturally, manufacturers cannot develop an ETA on their own. This must be done by an independent, notified approval body.
Once an ETA has been delivered for the product, the following step in the procedure is the responsibility of the manufacturer, because a CE marking is a declaration by the manufacturer. Whenever a manufacturer puts a CE marking on its products on the basis of an ETA, that manufacturer is declaring that the product meets the relevant requirements relating to safety, health, and the environment.
As stated earlier, there is no Harmonised European Standard applicable to roof hatches, so roof hatches do not yet require a CE marking. Of course, we are paying close attention to further developments in this area!