Everything you want to know about CE-marking

What you need to know about the use of building products
European Regulation No. 305/2011 (CPR) is applicable as from July 1, 2013: new requirements apply for building products in European member states. How will this affect you as a user of building products?

Why European legislation?
Europe wants a market without trade barriers. Barriers for building products mainly consisted of technical obstacles. By technical obstacles is meant the multitude of national standards existing within individual European countries each of which references different test methods. It means that sometimes building products approved in the Netherlands had to be tested all over again in another EU country, because that country used slightly different standards.

European directives
The European directives were drawn up to put an end to all this and to make things easier for everyone. The directives include seven essential requirements for buildings/construction works. The seven essential requirements are:

  1. Mechanical resistance and stability
  2. Safety in the case of fire
  3. Hygiene, health and the environment
  4. Safety in use
  5. Protection against noise
  6. Energy economy and heat retention
  7. Sustainable use of natural resources

Building products, as part of a building or civil engineering structure, must be tested on these essential requirements.

Building products are tested based on European harmonised standards (hEN) and European Technical Approval directives (e.g. ETA). A CE marking is only issued if a building product meets the technical specifications and directives. In addition, building products with a CE mark, used in construction from July 1, 2013, require a Declaration of Performance (DoP).

Building products without a CE marking
Not all building products require CE marking. CE marking is mandatory for a building product:

  • manufactured and marketed to be permanently incorporated into construction works (or parts thereof) and
  • affecting the performance of the construction works with respect to the seven essential requirements.

You can therefore keep on working with a building product without a CE marking if it:

  • is not permanently incorporated into construction works, or
  • does not affect the essential requirements of the construction works, or
  • is not covered by a harmonised standard or ETA.

If you opt for a building product without the CE marking, you must be able to prove that it is of sufficient quality and that the building the product is incorporated into meets the applicable building requirements.

The efforts of Powers

  • All products that currently have a CE marking based on EN standards (e.g. Powers wood nails) maintain their CE marking.
  • All products with an ETA approval have and maintain a CE marking.
  • The websites indicate for all products if they have a CE marking or not.
  • Products that currently do not have a CE marking (e.g. various sizes of drywall and SDS screws) will obtain a CE marking in the near future.
  • Fastening products without the European Technical Approval often do not meet the ETA Guidelines (ETAG). For many of these fastening products no CE marking can be obtained.