The letters ‘CE’ appear on many products. The European Union (EU) requires that construction products across its member states carry a common mark to show they meet a harmonised European standard.
The CE mark indicates that essential requirements have been met. It is NOT a statement of quality; it is a ‘fitness for purpose’ mark which allows the enforcing authority to remove unsafe timber products from the market when appropriate cases are reported to them. In the UK, the enforcing authority is the Trading Standards Agency.
CE marking is a passport to trade across the European marketplace. Under the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) published in 2011, CE marking is mandatory for many construction products in the UK, including timber products. The CPR sets out seven ‘Basic Works Requirements’.
What is CE marking for timber products
CE marking is a way to demonstrate that a product, or system, complies with the CPR. It is a manufacturer’s declaration that their product meets the minimum requirements of a harmonised technical specification, enabling them and their agents to place their product on the construction market.
A timber manufacturer or their legally appointed representative can be liable to a fine or a prison sentence if their product is not found to meet the requirements of the CPR.
The first harmonised standard to be published for timber products was BS EN 13986 Wood-based panels for use in construction was in 2002 (revised in 2004), allowing the CE marking of wood-based panels. There are now several standards which apply to various timber products.
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. For example in a heritage/conservation project, if a joiner creates a single window in a listed building to match the other windows, this would not require CE marking.
Exova BM TRADA is a Notified Body for construction products, including timber. We have a long heritage in the timber sector. To learn more about CE marking, please visit our website, email us or give us a call on 01494 569745.
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