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2013 and all that

Bill Price looks at forthcoming regulations and what they might mean for merchants.

A new year dawns and with it the chance to take stock of last year’s performance and make plans for another year.

However, despite the poor economic outlook, the onward march of European regulation goes on unabated.

July 2013 sees the full implementation of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) which is intended to ensure that reliable information on the performance of construction products is made available to the consumer. One aspect of this is the adoption of a common technical language (why does that make me shiver?) to describe product performance and certification.

CE Marking of those products covered by the CPR will become mandatory, rather than voluntary. Currently, each product must have a ‘Declaration of Performance’ that can be accessed by the consumer (end-user).

From a merchant point of view, the implementation of the CPR should not pose any real problems as the onus of responsibility is primarily on the manufacturer. Nevertheless, it is worth checking with your suppliers that they are up to speed with the latest regulation, but other than that, leave your supplier to deal with the jargon and the minutiae.

You will probably notice that the CE mark will appear on a wider range of building products than it did previously and that the information on the CE mark panel is a bit different. However, many common building materials do not (yet) come under the remit of the CPR and will be unaffected (again, check with your supplier).

It is highly likely that the UK cement industry will also change the health and safety labelling on the bags to conform to the new Classification, Label and Packaging Regulation (CLP) at the same time as changing the CE mark information on the bag. The product in the bag is unaffected, but the regulation will introduce a series of new – and possibly unfamiliar – pictograms to highlight any health and safety issues.

Whilst I’m sure that 2013 will see more changes than simply the information on a cement bag, my crystal ball is in for a service. Here’s hoping for a prosperous year and a recovery in the building and construction market. Cheers!

Bill Price is National Commercial Technical Manager at Lafarge Cement UK. Follow him on Twitter: @ConcreteDrBill

About Guest Blogger - Bill Price

Bill Price is National Commercial Technical Manager at Tarmac’s Cement business

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