CE marking and Eurocode post Brexit update

Farming Monthly National|May 2020

CE marking and Eurocode post Brexit update
At the end of January the UK left the European Union and, in the process, many questions were raised about the future regulatory regime for manufacturers and suppliers. Of direct relevance to steelwork fabricators and agricultural building suppliers is the future of CE marking or whatever replaces it.

Related to CE marking are the many standards, such as the Eurocodes, that engineers use to design buildings and other structures. In truth, with negotiations between the UK and EU on the future trading relationship still in their early stages, nobody knows all of the details of the new arrangements or their implications for manufacturers, but some aspects are now becoming clearer and the general direction at least seems to be set. The aim of this article is to highlight the key changes and, equally important, those elements of the process that are not changing, for the time being in any case. Overview of CE marking

CE marking is a compulsory requirement for most construction products, including steel frames and other building elements, governed by the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). The scope of the CPR is broad and covers all construction products manufactured by some kind of process within a factory environment and then placed on the market for incorporation into the permanent works. It does not cover items made using traditional craft methods or bespoke specialist items not manufactured by a regular process, but almost everything else is within scope. CE marking is simply a declaration by the manufacturer that a product complies with the CPR and its supporting product standards. The aim is to provide transparency and assurance to clients and specifiers regarding the performance of a product in terms of key criteria such as resistance to fire. Sadly, as demonstrated by the tragic events at Grenfell Tower, the CE mark says nothing about the suitability of a product for a particular application.

In theory, the CE mark is applied to the product at the end of the production process, and before it leaves the factory gate, although in practice it is quite likely that the mark and corresponding performance information will be contained in the accompanying documentation or on the packaging. The CE mark applies to the product as it exists when it leaves the factory gate, or technically speaking when it is placed on the market. It is, therefore, a declaration by the manufacturer relating to the product as sold, not necessarily as used. The end users can do whatever they wish to the products once they take possession of them, but the manufacturer will no longer be responsible for the performance of the product.

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May 2020