CE Marking is just one measure that the European Union has adopted to establish a single market, allow free trade and foster economic development within the member states. With the exception of some high risk products (fire protection products), most products can be self assessed by the manufacturer to demonstrate a MINIMUM performance level against the essential requirements detailed in the Construction Products Directive (CPD). While CE Marking permits a products access in to the European Union, it is not an approval or quality mark nor is it intended to be a marketing tool
The requirement for CE Marking will also be driven forward with the transposition of the CPD in to a Regulation (CPR), at which time it will be mandatory for all Member States to comply with the requirements of this document, current estimate 2012. This also includes the UK, Sweden, Ireland and Finland who have previously 'opted out' of the Marking process.
Suppliers, agents or manufacturers who trade in Europe must demonstrate that their products meet the minimum essential requirements of the CPD, and are required to affix the CE marking to the product or its packaging.
Warrington Certification is the only body within Europe that specialises exclusively in the development of European Technical Approvals (ETAs) for fire protection products.
An ETA is required when no harmonised European product standard (HEN) exists for a product against which conformity and hence CE marking can be based
An ETA for a construction product is a favourable technical assessment of its fitness for an intended use, based on contribution made by this product to the fulfillment of the six Essential Requirements, as stated in the Construction Products Directive (CPD) for the construction works in which the product is installed.
An ETA can be granted when any of the following conditions apply:
- No relevant Harmonised Standards for the product exist.
- No mandate for such a Standard has been given by the European Commission.
- The European Commission considers that a Standard cannot be developed yet.
- A product deviates significantly from the relevant Harmonised Standards
In conjunction with an Attestation of Conformity (which is intended to ensure that the product specification set out in an ETA is maintained by the manufacturer), ETA's allow manufacturers to place a CE mark on their products.
Warrington Certification has been instrumental in development of ETA's in the following areas with new applications to follow:
- Penetration Sealing Systems
- Board Systems
- Structural Protection