BCFA Member Roman have put together a Guide to CE Marking, particularly referring to the Shower Enclosure Standard...
Since July 2013 it is a mandatory European Standard (a legal requirement) that any manufacturer or supplier of shower enclosures, wetroom panels & bath screens meticulously tests the performance and endurance of all of their products, to ensure they conform to the Shower Enclosure Standard, BS EN14428.
There are three main tests that need to be carried out on the shower enclosure to ensure they conform to the BS EN14428 Standard. A water retention test needs to be carried out to ensure there is no leakage of the products. This is tested with a shower valve set at the stated pressure in the enclosure being tested for a set amount of time. A cycle rig is also set up to test the opening and closing of the shower enclosure door. The cycle rig will open and close the door 20,000 times, which replicates a product lifecycle. A swing ball test is also carried out, which uses different weighted balls of up to 50kg, to swing into the shower enclosure, wetroom panel or bath screen. This test is undertaken to imitate if someone were to fall into the showering product, to make sure the structure is strong enough to withstand the impact (testing of glass is a pre-requisite at point of toughening). If any problems occur during the testing stage they will be resolved and the product will be tested again through the full lifecycle to ensure the product exceeds the BS EN14428 Standard.
This legislation came in to legal force from 1st July 2013. The CE Mark indicates that a product complies with EU regulation, but it is a self-certification scheme and it is the manufacturer, supplier or glass contractor’s responsibility to ensure their products conform to the relevant regulations.
For shower enclosures the key standard is the BS EN14428, which tests for functional requirements. This then ensures the shower enclosure meets the EU Construction Products Regulation, and can legitimately carry the CE mark.
Manufacturers or suppliers must make the declaration of performance available to their customers, therefore making it available for everyone to see. Best practice conformity is to show CE marking details within their literature; their individual product instructions manuals; and on their website. In line with the standard, they should also display their CE documents for each product on their website, so customers can have quick and easy access to this information.
For clarity, these legal requirements cover the supply of all products for new build, refurbishment or retail sales in the UK. Therefore, this applies to all manufacturers, importers and glass contractors – even for small or individual volumes.
Liberty Black Grid CE Marking
The key standard to look out for to ensure that a shower enclosure, wetroom panel or bath screen conforms is BS EN14428:2008+A1, which tests for functional requirements. This then ensures the showering product meets the EU Construction Products Regulation, and can legitimately carry the CE mark. All products must be tested and prove that they conform and surpass these standards.
This is the most critical change to legislation, for a long time, for retailers, housebuilders, merchants and specifiers to be aware of. Manufacturers have the responsibility to ensure their enclosures conform to the standard, but the final reseller of the products (retailers, housebuilders, merchants) also have a legal responsibility to ensure the products they stock, or are specifying, also conform to the Standard.
However, there are still many non-compliant products out there and there are huge consequences for the seller of the non-compliant product. Large fines and imprisonment can be the ultimate result for knowingly selling non-conforming products, so it is strongly urged that all retailers and merchants ask the right questions around CE marking to all their suppliers.
Trading standards are the enforcement body for England, Wales and Scotland. The Environmental Health Authority covers Northern Ireland. They have been tasked with appropriate Market surveillance. The ultimate enforcement authority across the UK is the Secretary of State. Any non-compliance will be transmitted across Europe. Failure to comply with any aspect of the Construction Products Regulation can lead to; enforcement of appropriate corrective actions to manufacturer or supplier, recall or withdrawal of product from the market, Pan European communication of the above and fines start from £5,000 per incident or up to 3 months imprisonment. Fines apply to the final reseller or manufacturer as appropriate in each case.
To check whether the product carries the CE mark is relatively straightforward as manufacturers, suppliers or glass contractors must make the declaration of performance available to their customers. As a guide CE marking and details should be included within their literature, their individual product instruction manuals and on their website. In line with the standard, they should also display their CE documents for each product on their website, so customers can have quick and easy access to this information. There were 2014 updates for CE marking itself for manufacturers, suppliers or glass contractors, which includes production audits in addition to CE testing to prove ongoing compliance and individual product traceability over 10 years.
It must be stressed that this is a mandatory legal requirement with enforcement. Two of the common misconceptions are that it is something that the manufacturers would resolve if there was a problem; and secondly saying that you conform is one thing but proving you conform is actually what CE marking is all about.
For more information, or to contact Roman, click here