Guidance with regard to compliance
In the previous edition of The Hardware Journal, Siobhan Kenny of Frank Murphy Solicitors drew your attention to the Construction Products Regulations and the obligations of merchants and suppliers to the Construction Industry arising under the Regulations. Siobhan now continues her guidance.
As we know, the Regulations impact on all businesses supplying manufactured products for use in the Construction Industry. What steps can you take to make sure that your organisation is compliant? The definition of ‘construction product’ is very broad. As a rule of thumb, a ‘construction product’ is any product intended to be incorporated into permanent works. The following guidance is provided on a general level to assist in the putting in place of systems to ensure compliance with the obligations.
Suppliers of Construction Products should familiarise themselves with the requirements of the Regulations, with templates of compliant documents, and with the kind of documents that they are required, in law, to provide to their customers with such products. Your suppliers should be informed that all construction products you order from them must be CE marked and must be accompanied by relevant documents. This should form part of the terms on which you order products from those suppliers.
Most, if not all, EU-based manufacturers of products commonly used in construction projects (and a great many operating outside the EU zone) are very familiar with the Regulations and the introduction of this term should not be controversial. The most time-efficient and effective stage at which to verify that the products you have ordered from your supplier are CPR-compliant is when they are delivered. The following requirements should be met:
The first and most obvious check – verify that all products supplied to you have a conforming CE mark. The rules are very stringent – it must be in a particular form, and in a recognisable and
specific font. If the mark does not meet those requirements, then the product is not compliant. It can be in any size, provided it looks like the specific example. Please see sample of the mark (Figure 1) which, according to guidance offered by the Department of the Environment, is a compliant mark.
The following information must be provided to you with the product. It will either be on the product or, where that is not possible, on the packaging. It is important to check that these details are provided with the products supplied.
A copy of the kind of labelling to be expected can be found in the Building Regulations Advisory Board Information Notice.
Once you have received the delivery,checked that it is properly marked, that the required instructions for use and safe storage etc are properly endorsed on the product or included in the materials
provided, and that you have been provided with all additional documents – and in particular the D of P – you are in a position to sell that construction product to your customer.
You need to make sure that, pending sale to a customer, the product is stored safely and in such a way as to ensure that the performance of the product will not be impacted during the period of storage. In some cases, the manufacturer will need to provide you with specific handling and storage instructions (e.g. temperature; light or shade; periods of storage, etc) These kind of instructions should be clearly communicated to you by the manufacturer.
When the product is selected by a customer, you have to provide the relevant package of documents/information to that customer. Your customer should end up with a CE-marked product, on which full details of its CE marking appear (on product or packaging), and on which instructions as to how to use, handle and store it effectively and safely are endorsed. Your customer must also be provided with a fully detailed D of P, together with any other documents provided to you by the manufacturer in compliance with their own obligations under the Regulations. As stated, the point of the Regulations is to foster free trade by ensuring that full information about competing products is provided. The designers and specifiers decide whether or not that product is suitable for a particular purpose within the project – neither the manufacturer nor the distributor has any role in that decision.
It is not intended that the content of this article be treated or considered to be legal advice. It is provided for general information purposes only. Contact Siobhan Kenny, Frank Murphy Solicitors on 01 283 5252 or email@example.com
This Business Support article featured in the January/February 2016 edition of The Hardware Journal.