If I told you the revised Construction Products Regulation that makes CE marking mandatory was only published by the Government in 2011, would you believe me? It seems we’ve been talking about mandatory CE marking forever. In fact, it’s been around for less than two years and the regulations come into force on 1 July – less than seven months away! And there are changes in Building Regulations afoot too – as of 6 June last year, installers have two years to gain Minimum Technical Competence and ensure they have an insurance backed guarantee in place.
Getting to grips
It’s time our industry got to grips with the new regulations. So first of all, who needs to worry about CE marking? Well, we all do, but some less than others. If you’re an installer who buys in ready-made product from a fabricator, you’ve potentially got the least to do. You simply need to satisfy yourself that your supplier or suppliers are already compliant or will be by 1 July. If you’re a manufacturer, you need to take action to make sure your products are compliant. And lastly, the one group I think may have been forgotten about in terms of who needs to take action: anyone who buys in sealed units separately from the frames. If this is you, you are deemed to be a manufacturer under the new regulations and will need to get the products you glaze yourself CE marked in order to be compliant.
Secondly, what are the new regulations? They replace the existing Construction Products Directive, under which CE marking is voluntary. Under the Construction Products Regulation, it becomes mandatory for manufacturers to apply CE marking to any products covered by a harmonised standard – that is, many of the products you and I sell.
Minimum Technical Competence (MTC) becomes mandatory as of 6 June 2014. Under Building Regulations (England and Wales), every window fitter and surveyor will need to prove an MTC and have an insurance-backed guarantee. Proof of these will be your ID card, which provides proof that you have a knowledge of Building Regulations and British Standards, undertake regular training and development and are audited once every three years.
The noise in the industry press about the need to make sure you’re compliant has been steadily growing over the past year and you’ll no doubt be sick of hearing about it. But the fact is these regulations can look daunting and complex and our customers were telling us that they knew they had to comply, but had no idea how to go about doing it.
We are in the fortunate position of being able to help. CE marking has been mandatory in the rest of Europe for some time and, so, because of the Modplan Nordic division of our business, all our products have been CE marked for some years. This helps our installer customers because they can relax safe in the knowledge that they will be compliant after 1 July 2013. Last year, we appointed a dedicated CE Marking Champion: their role is to work with all affected customers and make sure that they are compliant by the deadline. We have drawn up straight forward guidances on what to do to gain compliance and we can help you every step of the way. Similarly, because we are approved members of Network Veka, we have access to a wealth of support we can use to support you in gaining MTC, even if you’re not a member of Network Veka yourself.
Here at Modplan, we recognise what massive changes these are for the industry. We are fortunate that we can devote our energies to ensuring that our customers gain compliance sooner rather than later. As such, Modplan are rolling out a series of seminars to help our customers throughout the process. In short, we are taking the hassle away so you can get on with what you do best, selling and fitting windows and doors.
Compliance is vital
From your point of view, gaining compliance by 1 July 2013 and MTC by 6 June 2014 is vital not least because it gives you a competitive advantage over your rivals who may not have taken the deadlines so seriously. So, my advice to you if you’re not a Modplan customer who is already being helped is simple: make it your new year’s resolution to gain compliance before the deadlines. If you are unsure what your responsibilities are, then think about calling Modplan. With our vast experience in CE accreditation and an impressive product portfolio, contacting us may make it the easiest resolution you ever kept.