GGF on post Brexit technical standards for glass & glazing industry

  • 4 Jul 2016

Steve Rice, Technical Director at the Glass & Glazing Federation (GGF), reviews the legal requirements around technical standardization in the glass and glazing industry and how the UK will conform to technical standards post Brexit.

How we will the UK conform to technical standards?

The UK has voted to leave the European Union and British companies need to be aware of what this means to the glass and glazing market.

1] Construction Products Regulation (CPR)

CPR is an EU directive enacted into UK law in 2013. Nothing will change until the UK government makes changes to replace it and enacts a new law to cover its legal requirements. The GGF does not foresee anything happening on this before 2020. So we would strongly advise companies to continue to CE mark their products if they fall under a harmonised European Norm/standard (hEN).

2] CEN: the European Committee for Standardization

CEN is made up of all the national standardization bodies, i.e. BSI, DIN, AFNOR, UNI, etc., throughout Europe. CEN is one of three European Standardization Organizations that have been officially recognized by the European Union and by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as being responsible for developing and defining voluntary standards at European level. Because these standards are ‘voluntary’, all of the ‘glass and glazing’, ‘window and door’ and ‘hardware’ standards are basically voluntary. They only become mandatory under EU legislation when the part containing the Annex ZA is cited in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). If CPR remains in our national legislation, compliance with the harmonised European Norms (hENs) will continue.

However, other EU members will continue to follow the CPR. This will mean that any products exported from the UK to the EU will continue to be required to be CE marked. Therefore, if your products are not CE marked then you will not be legally able to export to an EU country.

3] European standards are a level playing field

European standards do ensure a level playing field for our ‘glass and glazing’ products and UK companies would not want to return to the days when every country had different standard and system of compliance. We therefore believe it is in everyone’s interest that the present suite of European standards, and those to come, will be embraced by all in the industry.

4] Role of GGF in regulations post Brexit vote

  • GGF technical officers will continue to be fully involved with BSI (British Standards Index) committees
  • Technical officers and GGF Members will continue to be delegated as UK experts to CEN technical committees and working groups
  • GGF will promote the UK industry views on standards and represent the views of our membership to the standardization bodies whether at national or European level and attempt to influence the direction within the European market
  • GGF will continue to work with the UK government and advise members of legislative changes that may influence our market

Standardisation and compliance with the CPR

Nothing has changed yet since the EU Referendum result and any likely changes will be several years away. The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) will however continue to monitor this situation and keep its Members and all in the industry informed of any changes in the future.

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