Steel CE Marking Now the Law for Structural Steel
This summer (2014), the steel fabricating industry underwent one of its most significant changes – the legal requirement for a CE mark on all steel components used for construction projects throughout the European Union and the European Economic Area. The mandate now in force requires all steel suppliers to be in compliance with a predetermined set of standards designed to ensure fabricated structural steel products, such as mezzanine floors, meet European standards for safety and integrity.
It is now the responsibility of site engineers and construction project managers to make sure mezzanine floors and other fabricated structural steel is properly marked when delivered to the job site. Likewise, it is the responsibility of distributors to ensure they are not sending non-compliant components to customers. The mandate includes the participation of banks and insurance companies, meaning the cost to replace non-compliant steel will rest solely with developers and distributors. The regulations also include significant penalties for non-compliance, as well.
History of CE Marking in Construction
The original CE (Conformité Européenne) marking symbol is familiar throughout Europe as it has been required on a long list of consumer goods for years. The CE programme was developed to ensure products marked with it meet European standards for manufacturing.
CE Marking was introduced for construction products beginning with the European Union’s Construction Products Directive of 1988. As the standards of the Directive were gradually rolled out, greater numbers of construction products were added to the mandate. Mezzanine floors and other fabricated structural steel were added to the standards this year. Marked products must adhere to the harmonised standards as set forth in BS EN 1090.
What It Accomplishes
Applying CE marking to fabricated structural steel is intended to accomplish a number of things. First, it forces distributors to make sure manufacturers of the steel products they bring to market are meeting EU standards. Second, it puts a requirement on distributors to be properly certified to inspect and supply CE marked steel products. Third, it forces manufacturers to comply with EU regulations for product manufacturing, health, and environmental requirements. Lastly, it ensures the free trade of fabricated steel products across Europe.
The main contractor on any project should be performing all due diligence to make sure steel suppliers and manufacturers are in compliance with regulations. Likewise, insurance companies will need to be sure compliant materials are being used before providing indemnity insurance.
Failure to Comply
A failure to comply with the CE marking mandate could result in a variety of consequences. The least serious infractions could incur prohibition notices, suspension notices, notices to warn, and application for forfeiture. Offences that are more serious may be subject to fines, imprisonment, or both.
CE marking for mezzanine floors and other fabricated structural steel components is now the law. Manufacturers, distributors, developers, and contractors all need to be aware of their roles in maintaining compliance. If everyone works together, the new mandate should have very little negative impact on the construction industry.
Do Avanta Mezzanine Floors Carry the CE Mark?
Yes. As one of the UK’s leading mezzanine floor suppliers, our products comply with all relevant legislation and guidelines, and have been granted CE certification in accordance with the requirements of EN1090.