An introduction to CE Marking
Products to be sold in the European Union (EU) that come under certain European Directives/Regulations must bear the CE mark – it is a legal requirement.
CE marking on a product is the manufacturer’s declaration that the product complies with the essential requirements of all the Directives/Regulations that apply to it. It indicates to the appropriate bodies that the product may be legally offered for sale in their country and gives companies easier access into the European market to sell their products without adaptation or rechecking. The initials “CE” do not stand for any specific words; they are simply a declaration by the manufacturer that his product meets the requirements of the applicable European Directive(s)/Regulations.
Why get a CE Marking?
As of 1 January 2011, Road Restraint Systems in the majority of countries within the European Union need to be certified and have obtained a CE Marking. This is an obligation stemming from provisions of the Construction Products Directive (89/106/EEC – CPD) as stipulated in Annex ZA of EN 1317-5, which put simultaneously an end to the three year transition peiod, during which the EN 1317 and national norms co-existed.
How can I get a CE Marking?
In order to obtain a CE marking, a company must seek the services of a notified certification body which is responsible for assessing whether your product meets the necessary criteria. A notified certification body is an organisation that has been notified to the European Commission by a Member State.
The following steps described in EN1317-5 are needed to get a Certificate of Conformity from the notified certification body.
a) Initial type testing
The notified certification body will ask the manufacturer to provide an ITT report. The ITT can be subcontracted to laboratories being approved according to the EN/ISO CEI 17025 standard for the completion of tests, even if these laboratories are not notified (notification policies may depend on Member States rules).
The ITT report shall include the following information as a minimum:
- impact test report to the current version of EN 1317-1 and EN 1317-2 or EN 1317-3, depending on the Road Restraint System type;
- technical description of the road restraint system as follows;
- evaluation report as follows.
The product description:
- general system arrangement drawings with installation layout assembly descriptions and tolerances;
- drawings of all component geometries with dimensions, tolerances and all material specifications;
- specifications for all materials and all finishes (including protective treatment system);
- assessment of the durability of the product;
- drawings of all components sub-assembled in the factory;
- complete parts list, including weights;
- details of pre-stressing (if relevant);
- any other relevant information (e.g. recycling information, environment, security);
- information on regulated substances.
The evaluation report:
- verification that the materials are as specified by the manufacturer
- verification that geometries and dimensions are as specified by the manufacturer;
- verification of protective treatments, if any;
- soils and foundations report relating to the ITT;
- verification that the product is installed in accordance with the specified layout. The manufacturer shall provide an installation manual for the installation that will achieve the performance declared for the ITT.
b) Factory Production Control (FPC)
The manufacturer shall establish, document and maintain an FPC system to ensure that the products placed on the market conform to the declared performance characteristics. The FPC system shall consist of written procedures (works’ manual), regular inspections and tests and/or assessments and the use of the results to control raw and other incoming materials or components, equipment, the production process and the product.
Records shall remain legible, readily identifiable and retrievable.
An FPC system conforming to the requirements of EN ISO 9001 and made specific to the requirements of this document shall be considered to satisfy the above requirements.
The notified certification body or its subcontracting inspection body conducts an initial inspection. This is for the purpose of determining whether the resources, in terms of staff and equipment together with procedures for process control to the proposed Factory Production Control plan, are in place to assure conformity of the product with the technical specifications.
The manufacturer shall establish procedures to ensure that the production tolerances allow for the road restraint systems’ performances to conform to the declared values, derived from initial type testing.
The minimum frequency for component testing and evaluation as part of FPC is once a year and is controlled by the notified certification body.
The manufacturer shall record the results. These records shall at least include the following information:
- identification of the road restraint systems tested;
- date of sampling and testing;
- test methods performed;
- test results
CE Marking and Notified Bodies
The list of notified bodies for obtaining a CE Marking for Road Restraint Systems can be found on the European Commission’s DG Enterprise website. Please note that this list does not contain only product certification bodies.
The assessment of conformity system for road restraint systems is conducted by a notified certification body. Some steps (e.g. tests, factory production control audits) of the process can be subcontracted by the notified product certification bodies to competent partners which are notified or not.