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Timber Standards & CE Marking

Timber and timber-based products are commonly specified as meeting a particular British (BS) or European (EN) Standard, and in general this can be done without any certification or independent testing. The standard simply provides a shorthand way of claiming that certain specifications are met, while encouraging manufacturers to adhere to a common method for such a specification. Standards are designed for voluntary use and do not impose any regulations. However, laws and regulations may refer to certain standards and make compliance with them compulsory.

Responsible suppliers should always investigate whether a published standard exists for the product type and, if so, why would they choose not to meet the requirements of that standard?

There is normally one standard setting out the main requirements for a particular type of product and, where necessary, this will point users towards other applicable documents, such as test and measurement standards and reference documents such as Design guides or Codes of Practice.

Members can download the latest TTF Guide to Timber Standards which provides brief information about the primary standards related to timber products including Harmonised European Standards for CE Marking and their main supporting documents.

For information on the move to Eurocode 5 for the design of timber structures please click here.

In addition to product standards, a suite of new European Standards is being developed for assessing the sustainability of construction products and the built environment. this is being undertaken by the CEN Technical Committee for the sustainability of construction works (CEN TC 350).

The European Standard EN 15804, for example, will provide the core set of Product Category Rules for the Europe-wide generation of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for construction products. EPDs are an important source of published information on the environmental impacts of individual construction materials. Click here for more details on Sustainable Construction.

CE Marking and the Construction Products Regulation (CPR)

Compliance with the forthcoming Construction Products Regulation (including CE marking) will become mandatory on certain wood and wood-based construction products in the UK from July 2013.

For FAQs on CPR Click Here

It will be compulsory to comply with the CPR and CE Mark products arriving in the European Union or manufactured in the EU after that date. A number of other responsibilities will be imposed on the supply chain, principally to ensure CE information is passed down the chain. Specific guidance for Manufacturers, Importers, and Distributors of timber products can be downloaded by TTF Members here - CE Marking Guidance for Distributors, Importers, and Manufacturers.

In terms of product range, the CPR only applies to specific product groups intended for Construction for which a current European Harmonised Standard (hEN) exists - see list below and TTF Guides to Standards:

 

CE Marking Available No CE Marking Available

EN 14081-1

Strength Graded Timber (Untreated or Treated)

Ungraded Sawn or PAR Timber

EN 14342

Wood Floorings

Mouldings, Skirtings, Architraves etc

EN 14915

Solid Wood Claddings / Panelling

 

 EN 13986

All Wood-Based Panels used in Contruction

 Any Panels specifically for furniture, formwork/hoarding, doors

 EN 14250

Trussed Rafters

 Tile Battens

 

 Metal Web Beams & I-Joists

(See note below)*

 Decking

 EN 14080

Glulam

 

 EN 14374

Structural LVL

 

 EN 15497 UNDER DEVELOPMENT

Structural Finger-Jointed Timber

 

EN 16351 

Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT)

 

EN 14351-1 

Non-Fire Windows and Doors

 

 EN 14041

Laminate Flooring

 

 EN 14592

Dowel Type Fasteners for Structural Timber use (metals screws, nuts, bolts etc)

 

 EN 14545

Timber Connectors

 

EN 14732 

Prefabricated Timber Frame Panels

DELAYED TO 2014

 

*ETAs are another route to CE Marking for specialist or innovative products.  Currently they are called European Technical Approvals or ETAs and Metal Web Beams & I-Joists are an example of products which can be CE marked but for which there is not currently a Harmonised European Standard.

As part of the CPR, manufacturers will be required to provide a Declaration of Performance (DoP) when placing a construction product on the market which contains technical information to demonstrate the product’s fitness for purpose. There may be an obligation for Importers and distributors to pass this information on to their customers, particularly for safety critical products such as Structural Plywood and Structural Timber.

Examples of important wood products which should NOT need CE marking would be general Sawn or Machined goods (unless they are Structural or Flooring). Equally, Treated Fencing will not require CE marking but Treated Structural Timber will. Decking should also on the whole be exempt but may count as Structural if it is used as a balcony or raised up on columns.

Are you an Importer / Merchant with machining facilities?

If so the following information is important to your business and will require action.

CPR and CE marking does NOT only apply to imported wood products.

If you are machining for stock in the UK, Cladding or Flooring profiles from Softwoods or Hardwoods that are intended for use in construction applications, then from the 1st of July 2013 you will need to take action, specifically to produce a Declaration of Performance (DoP) and CE mark these Cladding and Flooring products.

For more information on how this can be undertaken please read the "TTF Guide to CE Marking for Importers, Distributors and Manufacturers" and  "CE Marking slides and DOP examples" from the Quick Links to the right of this page.

In addition to the above if you have qualified Visual Strength Graders on site then you will also need to take similar action i.e. produce a Declaration of Performance and adjust your Visual Strength Grade Mark to meet the requirements of the CPR (principally include the letters CE).  Your Certification Body should have been making you aware of this change in the lead up to CPR. 

 


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