Frequently Asked Questions

1

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2 What will NSG Group have to do to meet the Standards?

Like other manufacturers, NSG Group must ensure that its Factory Production Control is consistent with the requirements of the hEN and that the Initial Type Testing (ITT) has been completed, to ensure that the product is the product and confirm its declared values. 

3 What do I have to do to meet the standards?

If you are a manufacturer of one of the products covered within the scope of a harmonised European Norm (hEN), the first action should be to purchase a copy of the hEN from your National Standards Organisation!

Glass for Europe - the trade association of European flat glass manufacturers - has produced a series of guides to the hENs for each particular glass product.  For more information, please refer to www.glassforeurope.com

4 What will NSG Group do for me to help me meet the standards?

As a member of Glass for Europe, NSG Group has been involved in producing a series of guides to CE Marking and the new hENs for glass in building.  These are available to download from www.glassforeurope.com

We have also produced an FAQs publication as well as a presentation that introduces CE Marking.

We have also set up a dedicated email address for CE Marking-specific enquiries.  It is: ce.marking@nsg.com

5 What difference does CE Marking make to the glass or service I receive?

It will be easier for customers to compare the performance of products, particularly those from different countries in which different national standards have previously existed, on a like-for-like basis.  Declared performance from manufacturers is more transparent than in the past and more open to challenge.  The testing is independently undertaken by accredited third parties.  Some of the testing goes beyond traditional national requirements and higher 'risk' products (e.g. fire resistant) require greater involvement of third parties.

6 Where do I go for information or help?

There are a number of sources of information, including:

7 Why are only certain glass products affected and not all of them?

It depends on the Date of Applicability of each hEN, which is only confirmed when a reference is published in the Official Journal of the European Union.  The Date of Applicability is the earliest date at which products can comply with the hEN and, subsequently, be CE Marked.

The Date of Applicability for the first set of hENs for glass in building was 1st September 2005.  Products covered include: basic soda lime silicate glass, coated glass, toughened glass and heat strengthened glass.

The Date of Applicability for the hENs covering insulating glass units, laminated glass and heat soaked thermally toughened glass was 1st March 2006, followed by a 12-month transition period.

Products for which there is no harmonised European Norm or technical specification cannot be CE Marked.

8 What does CE Marking mean for current national standards or voluntary schemes e.g. the kitemark, etc?

Existing national standards must be withdrawn no later than 12 months after the Date of Applicability of the corresponding hEN.

Voluntary Mark schemes can exist but they must be VOLUNTARY and not form part of a mandatory or regulatory requirement.  A Voluntary Mark scheme could, for example, raise the Attestation of Conformity from System 3 (i.e. ITT by Notified Body) to System 1+ (i.e. surveillance of factory and product audit by Notified Body).  A Voluntary Mark scheme should not be permitted to make any changes to the test requirements of the hEN (e.g. pass/fail criteria, samples size, etc.).

9 What differences are there to the standards before and after CE Marking?

It depends on the country and standard in question.  For some countries, the hEN is very different to the previous national standards; in others, there is little difference.

Prior to the new hENs, there were some countries that did not have product standards.

10 Why are the standards changing?

The harmonised European Norms (hENs) were introduced to address the requirements of the European Directive, the Construction Products Directive.  The intention wasto remove technical barriers to trade and an essential part of meeting thatrequirement is by harmonising product standards and supporting standards across Europe. 

The Construction Products Directive has since been superseded by a European Regulation, the Construction Products Regulation.

11 What effect will CE Marking have on the market?

Time will tell!

12 Does CE Marking invalidate my previous warranties?

It is not expected to do so, but future warranties may need to be updated to take account of the new hENs.

13 Who will 'police' CE Marking?

Market surveillance is the responsibility of each Member State and will vary from country to country.

A manufacturer must have supporting evidence in its Technical File demonstrating the compliance of the product with the relevant hEN.  As the declared values for CE Marking will be open and transparent, they can be challenged by surveillance bodies and other glass manufacturers to establish if a false declaration has been made.

The Technical File must be made available to market surveillance bodies in the event of a challenge.

14 How do I need to show that my product complies with CE Marking?

If you are a manufacturer of one of the products covered within the scope of a harmonised European Norm (hEN), the first action should be to purchase a copy of the hEN from your National Standards Organisation.

Glass for Europe has produced a series of guides to the hENs for each particular glass product.  For more information, please refer to www.glassforeurope.com.

15 What are the benefits of CE Marking?

Benefits include:

  • Declared performance from manufacturers will be more transparent than in the past and more open to challenge 
  • The supply chain can compare products on a like-for-like basis
  • No legal requirement for maintaining national voluntary marks (CE Marking is considered 'fit for purpose') 
  • Testing is independently undertaken by accredited third parties 
  • Some of the testing goes beyond traditional national requirements 
  • Manufacturer's responsibility is clearly defined 
  • Higher 'risk' products (e.g. fire resistant) require greater involvement of third parties

16 How do you decide which standards apply to products with multiple functions?

The hENS have developed for each glass type, e.g. basic soda lime silicate, coated, toughened, laminated, insulating glass units, etc.  Multiple functions will be covered by the intended use of the product and its declared values.

The organisation placing the product on the market is required to show, through appropriate reference to the relevant hENs and declaration of essential product characteristics, that the product is suitable for its declared purpose.

E.g.1: Pilkington Pyrostop® containing a Solar Control glass where the intended use is 'fire resistance'.
In this case the relevant hEN is EN14449 (laminated glass) and fire resistance and solar performance characteristics will be stated in the Declaration of Performance (DoP).

E.g. 2: An Insulating Glass Unit (IGU) incorporating the same Pilkington Pyrostop® product and carrying a similar intended use of 'fire resistance' must comply with hEN 1279-5 (IGUs) and fire and solar performance characteristics will again be stated in the DoP.

Note: Any product with claims for fire, explosion or bullet resistance intended uses is subject to System 1 requirements.