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CE marking to spread to steel fabrication

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Steelwork contractors will be the next in line to have to get to grips with CE marking of their products. The European system for demonstrating that products meet all the requirements of European directives, introduced for steel sections on 1 September, will be extended to pre-loadable high strength friction grip bolts and fabricated steel from 2007. Non-preloadable bolts will follow a year later.

The move, part of a programme to cover all construction products, will have big implications for any company making products fabricated from steel, said British Constructional Steelwork Association Director of Engineering David Moore. It will apply to everything from volume produced lintels to cellular beams and one-off structures such as the component parts of a portal frame.

Though in the UK CE marking will not be mandatory, the alternative is to be able to produce, on demand, the relevant documentation to satisfy a Trading Standards Officer that the product in question meets all the relevant European standards.

To CE mark its products, a company will have to have in place a factory production control system assessed by a third party as well as a quality assurance system to ISO 9001. The third party will be a ‘notified body’ approved by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. The BCSA is studying the implications of the move and will be producing guidance for steelwork contractors shortly.

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