The Policing of EN1279

The policing of EN1279 and other fenestration EN standards

With the change of the Construction Products Directive to the Construction Products Regulation on 1st July 2013 any manufacturer of a product which falls under an EN Standard will have to CE Mark, make a Declaration of Conformity for their product and comply with all the “rules” defined within the scope of that standard. It will be illegal for non-compliant companies to CE Mark. Likewise it will be illegal to place non-CE Marked products on the market. Until then the state of impasse alluded to in the text below applies.

A regular question asked of CENSolutions and employees of other bodies is: Who is policing these European Standards and why aren’t companies who are blatantly ignoring these regulations being brought to account?

The simple answer is that if the UK Government had signed up to full CE Marking instead of just compliance with the Construction Products Directive, this would have forced manufacturers to make publically available an official declaration that their products complied. This CE Mark documentation information would need to be readily available by such means as a product label, as part of the delivery note or indeed on the company website. Anyone subsequently making a false self-certification declaration could then be prosecuted with the policing being carried out by Trading Standards.

The fact that the Government didn’t go this far means there is some confusion and lack of guidance as to what Trading Standards can actually do. So Trading Standards officers are reluctant to prosecute because of the financial cost of failure.

Many official industry bodies, component manufacturers, trade bodies and notification bodies have publicly agreed that the method of policing will be as specified by the Government and that punishments should be given.

In the light of limited information being provided to Trading Standards by Government and other bodies, we decided to take matters into our own hands. Bill Keating wrote an article for their monthly magazine – Trading Standards Today, and it appeared in the February 2008 edition. Link to Article. The article made reference to a checklist which we decided needed to be brought to the attention of as many Trading Standards Officers as possible. With the annual Trading Standards Conference being held at Bournemouth in June 2008, the checklist was subsequently re-printed as a Technical Bulletin and placed, at considerable cost to ourselves, into packages provided for every Conference Delegate. Copies are available to all our clients. We hope they will refer to the checklist and use when tabling a complaint to Trading Standards.

This should not only help raise the profile of policing of EN 1279 but also show the value of using the CENSolutions CMS Mark system to ensure that manufacturers remain compliant.