FIEC asks for CE Marking to address needs of users

CE Mark in construction misunderstood by professional users and consumers; Open dialogue about improvements in the Construction Products Regulation; Clear and unambigious communication needed

CE Mark in construction misunderstood by professional users and consumers

“The CE Mark is a passport for free travel, it is not a residence permit allowing installation in a building” says Jan Coumans, Chairman of FIEC’s sub-commission on Regulation and Standardisation, TEC-1. Speaking at an event in the European Parliament hosted by Catherine Stihler MEP, Vice Chairman of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumers (IMCO), he goes on to ask “ How can we ensure that users understand the purpose of CE Marking, which in the case of construction products is merely to indicate that a CE marked product can be placed on the market in the EU? More importantly for contractors, under what conditions could quality marks be used alongside the CE Mark so that users can have confidence that they are making a safe - and the best - choice of product? ”

Open dialogue about improvements in the Construction Products Regulation

FIEC is participating as a key stakeholder in discussions recently launched by the European Commission, regarding how to improve the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). In 2016, FIEC and Construction Products Europe published joint positions on the CPR and Standardisation and Market Surveillance. Construction Products Europe will also speak at the European Parliament event and will present its own ideas for improvements, which are broadly supported by FIEC. The invitation to participate in a frank discussion in the European Parliament, with both MEPs and the European Commission is welcomed by FIEC’s Vice President Kjetil Tonning, who is also the President of the Technical Commission. “We’ve been emphasising the difficulties experienced by users of construction products, in particular contractors, since the Regulation came into total effect in 2013 and before that when its predecessor the Construction Products Directive was in force. This constructive dialogue in the Parliament builds on what FIEC has achieved by collaborating with Construction Products Europe and we welcome this opportunity to consider the concerns of all stakeholders in an attempt to find feasible solutions together.”

Clear and unambigious communication needed

As well as specific improvements to CE Marking itself, FIEC would strongly support a clear communication campaign, to correct any misunderstandings about what the CE Mark means. A recent news bulletin on the Dutch TV channel NOS, demonstrated that CE Marking in general – not only on construction products – is not clearly understood by the public. Jan Coumans stresses “For construction products, the clearest message is required to explain once and for all that, except in the very rarest of cases – meaning almost never in reality – contractors are not required to CE mark. The CPR is not aimed at them and this clarity would help us help us to explain that to our customers, some of whom have asked us recently to CE mark custom-made constructions on site.