From July 2013 CE marking of stone becomes law under Building Regulations – it is time to prepare

After 1 July next year it will be illegal to use stone that does not carry a CE mark for construction work. From that date, the requirement for building products to be verified as fit for purpose by carrying a CE mark becomes part of the Building Regulations that you ignore at your peril.

Many of the major stone producers in the UK either already have CE marked their stones or are working towards it. Any quarry operator whose stone does not carry a CE mark is in danger of having it rejected.

Importers of stone can either try to persuade their suppliers to have the necessary testing carried out or they will have to have the testing carried out themselves because it is their responsibility to ensure it is tested.

If you are going the route of having stones tested for CE marking you will need to bear in mind that if the CE certificate is corrupt in any way this would be deception and could lead to a criminal prosecution.

Corruption of a CE certificate includes using a non-traditional name for the stone or stating an incorrect place (not just country) of origin, let alone falsifying test data.

The reason the stone identification and its origin has to be correct is because in order to comply with the Construction Products Regulation (EU) 305/2011 that is making CE marking compulsory, it is obligatory to comply with BS EN 12440 – and BS EN 12440 requires stone’s traditional name and place of origin to be revealed.

It also requires the petrographic identification of the stone as defined in BS EN 12670 to be revealed.

Any type of stone masonry, wall lining, paving, flooring and tiling is covered by the new regulations. And because designers and architects who ignore the regulations will be putting their professional indemnity at risk and could even face criminal prosecution over issues such as slip resistance, there is going to be a demand-side driver for product suppliers to comply with the changes.

CE marking is a requirement for all construction products from July next year, not just stone. So if the makers of products that can be used as alternatives to stone are CE marked and stone products are not, there will be every incentive for specifiers and clients to use the alternatives.