CE marking

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Pentti Hokkanen, Image Bank of the End. Adm.

With CE marking, a manufacturer can ensure that the properties of a construction product are in line with the harmonised European product standard, or the European technical approval (ETA).

Building product manufacturers may not place building products on the market, if such products fall within the scope of the harmonised European product standard but have no CE marking.

When attached to a construction product, the CE marking proves that the product has been tested using a testing method compliant with the harmonised European product standard, and that the product attains the reported level of performance. CE marking may be granted after testing only one of the product's properties. CE marking on construction products does not signify quality and, taken alone, is not sufficient to guarantee that the product is fit for use in construction projects.

A product's fitness for use in construction must always be assessed separately on the basis of its intended use, local conditions and the requirements laid down in construction regulations.

The objective of this is to improve the comparability of construction products. When product information is reported in the same way in all cases, designers and consumers will easily be able to compare the notified performance level of building products. This will also make it easier to export Finnish products.

Benefits of the CE marking:

  • The CE marking facilitates comparison of the properties of construction products.
  • The CE marking indicates the properties of a construction product that require verification in a manner that is uniform throughout Europe.
  • Construction products with the CE marking can be placed on the market anywhere in Europe without additional examinations in each country.

Frequently asked questions (different target groups): CE marking

Construction products on which a CE marking is required

CE marking is compulsory for all construction products covered by the Harmonised European Standard. Construction products refer to products, such as concrete elements, windows, steel structures and timber, intended to become a fixed part of a building.

The Harmonised European Standard (hEN) is a product standard drawn up by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), whose application enables manufacturers to affix the CE marking to their products. By product group, the hEN defines which product properties require investigation, the quality control requirements for the manufacture of a product, and what information is conveyed by the CE marking. In Finland, the Finnish Standards Association incorporates these requirements into SFS-EN standards.

Manufacturers must determine whether their construction products fall within one of the areas covered by the harmonised European product standard.

The hEN Helpdesk provides information on harmonised product standards related to the Construction Products Directive, describing the existing harmonised product standards and listing products falling within their scope.

Harmonised product standards can be obtained from the Finnish Standards Association SFS.

The European Technical Approval is a voluntary assessment leading to CE marking

If a product does not fall within the scope of a harmonised product standard, it is not required to have a CE marking. The manufacturer may still acquire a CE marking for the product through the European Technical Approval (ETA). This Approval is targeted at new, innovative products in particular.

It is granted on the basis of the European Assessment Document (EAD). Decisions concerning the methods used for the Assessment and Verification of Constancy of Performance (AVCP categories) are published in the Annex ZA of the hEN and in the ETA and the EAD. Information on these decisions is also available from trade associations.

In Finland, ETAs are granted by Eurofins Expert Services Ltd.

Declaration of Performance (DoP)

The Declaration of Performance is a requirement for obtaining a CE marking for a product. The manufacturer draws up the Declaration of Performance according to a harmonised product standard (hEN) or the European Technical Approval (ETA). The Declaration of Performance must list all values regarding product properties that are required to meet the official regulations.

If the manufacturer does not wish to report the values of a particular property, the annotation ‘NPD’ (no performance determined) can be listed instead. The manufacturer must report at least one performance level relating to the basic properties of the construction product that is significant in terms of the intended purpose of the product in cases with regard to which the member country has no pertaining official regulations.

The Declaration of Performance is the only way to report the values and categories of a construction product’s properties. A template for the Declaration of Performance is provided in Annex III of the Construction Product Decree (rakennustuoteasetus).

Assessment and Verification of Constancy of Performance (AVCP system)

Five systems are used for the assessment and verification of constancy of performance: AVCP systems 1+, 1,2+, 3 and 4. Appendix V of the Construction Product Decree contains provisions regarding the systems.

Attaching the CE marking

The manufacturer or importer attaches the CE marking to the product, its packaging and the pertaining documents after drawing up the Declaration of Performance. The hEN and the ETA in question contain detailed CE marking guidelines.

The tests and monitoring of production quality, as required by the CE marking, may be conducted by notified bodies. In Finland, the Ministry of the Environment appoints the notified bodies and monitors their operations.

The manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that the properties of a CE-marked product correspond to the harmonised product standard or European Technical Approval under whose scope the product falls. The manufacturer must continuously monitor and test the product's quality and submit written quality control reports. In some cases, a notified body unconnected to the manufacturer must monitor the product's Assessment and Verification of Constancy of Performance.

However, Finnish manufacturers are not obliged to use Finnish notified bodies, as bodies that have been found competent are accepted, regardless of their country of operation. The European Commission’s NANDO database (New Approach Notified and Designated Organisations) contains information on notified bodies, along with regulation grounds related thereto.

Finland has appointed a technical assessment enterprise to represent it on the European Organisation for Technical Approvals (EOTA). Eurofins Expert Services Ltd was appointed to this position by the Ministry of the Environment.

The CE marking

The CE marking consists of the letters “CE” presented in the following manner. The basic information of the marking is governed by the NLF Regulation.

CE marking

Market surveillance

The market is monitored by the authorities, which aim to ensure that the CE marking is not abused. The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) is responsible for monitoring all building products on the market. Tukes monitors all CE-marked building products available in Finland as well as all products without CE marking.

If the CE marking has been applied in a way which does not fulfil requirements, Tukes may suspend the release of the product or prohibit its use for construction purposes, until the necessary preconditions for using the CE marking have been met.

If groundless use of the CE marking continues, Tukes may prohibit the sale or release of the product. If necessary, Tukes may require the product's withdrawal from the market.

 

Further information
Ministerial Counsellor Kirsi Martinkauppi, tel. +358 295 250 177, firstname.lastname@ym.fi

Published 2014-05-21 at 11:08, updated 2019-05-27 at 14:40