That’s right folks! It’s is just a few days before the wonder that is CE Marking comes into force! I’m sure you’ve all enjoyed the marvelous task of getting every nut and bolt certified and stacking up reem after reem of paper work! It certainly has given us all something very exciting to do!
Yes I’m being sarcastic. In just a few days another EU irritant becomes law and it certainly has caused us a few headaches along the way. There were questions of exemption, who was and who wasn’t. What certificates were needed and which weren’t needed. Who polices the whole thing? Do we even need CE marking at all? My personal view is still that we don’t, but because of successive Governments determined to tie us in further with Europe, there is very little we can do about it.
What is clear is that if a company is caught being non-compliant, there is possible jail time and fines that can be imposed. No one seems to know the length of time of that jail sentence or that amount of the fine. But is it just me, but given the overcrowded nature of our prisons and the fact that this is ONLY CE Marking, isn’t a potential prison sentence a massive overreaction to something which is relatively minor. I understand the fine part, but jail is hugely over the top.
For those who have been prepared, there is very little to worry about other than the mounting levels of extra administration and paperwork. But, as is typical of our industry, there will some out there which know very little about CE Marking, haven’t bothered to research it and will probably be non-compliant come July 1st. It is to be hoped that they aren’t found out by their competitors and shopped to Trading Standards.
On the issue of policing CE Marking, it does appear that Trading Standards will be the main body in our industry responsible for enforcing CE Marking and it’s correct use. How effective it will be will remain to be seen. At the moment we hear very little about Trading Standards and it’s activity within the UK. So either we’re just not seeing much reporting on their work or they’re actually doing very little. Probably a mix of both!
Up to press, I’ve not seen that much positive commentary about CE Marking. Those who have commented on the site have been mostly negative and see this change as yet another alteration when there wasn’t one needed. The EU on the other hand clearly thinks that the UK needs CE Marking on everything. But what do you think? Do we need it? Did the current system work well prior to CE Marking? Feel free to leave a comment in the section below!