Many may question what is a CE marking and what does it stand for? CE is short form for Conformité Européenne, i.e., European Conformity, you may find many products in you household with this marking, it means that the product complies with European Directives for that product, these may refer to safety, health, consumer safety, and many other things that the product, manufacturer and other market agents have to comply with.
Buying or selling building materials in Europe, requires that the given product is fit for its intended use, basically has to comply with requirements included in the Building Materials Regulation 89/106/CEE. These requirements are of several types, namely complies with consumer health and safety standards, therefore references are defined for:
- Mechanical resistance and stability
- Resistance to Fire
- Hygiene, health and environment: which may include noise, energy consumption and heat retention
The CE marking is based on EC directives, and are used as European Standards, therefore every state member of the European Community will have to comply with these norms. These basically guarantee that the product is fit for use according to the defined product standards.
Some products have to be marked with the CE symbol themselves, however it’s not obligatory for all products, each type of product has the marking needed in the standards. The standards themselves besides defining the testing and other issues, also may be specific regarding packing and product marking.
To be able to buy and sell in the European Community, the product should comply with the CE marking, this insures that it complies with European law.
Agglomerate stone as mentioned in a prior post has already some CE marking standards in application as of the 1st of January 2010, namely the UNI EN 15285 which refers to modular tiles for flooring and stairs (internal and external). This standard was published in July 2008, and defines the agglomerate stone requirements and testing methods for modular tiles used in flooring and stairs (internal and external).
In truth these standards mean, that any product made or sold in Europe will have specific physical properties to be considered a agglomerate stone for modular tile use. If the stone doesn’t comply with the standard it may not be sold as CE complying, which may mean it be banned from the market, or not considered as a valid option for a construction project.
A product that doesn’t comply with CE marking can’t be sold as being, in this particular case, an agglomerate stone modular tile. A certified product has to undergo several testing and manufacturing procedures to ensure compliance with the standards. So we have controls in factory and also by certified laboratories, these entities guarantee the product quality and therefore compliance with the CE marking standard. Traceability is one of the in factory controls, from raw materials to the end product, many in factory procedures are made to insure product quality.
Unfortunately non CE marked material does appear in some work sites, not every European member has the correct inspection settled for these products. In many countries, the CE marking is not checked, and at many construction sites you may find un-marked material. In time most of these abnormal situations will slowly disappear and making the CE marking standard a good thing for consumers as it insures quality to the end buyer, who in many cases have in the past not received high quality products.