CE Marking and the new Consumer Rights Bill. Two subjects that on the face of it seem very boring. These two combined are about to produce a very combustible situation in the coming months if the industry doesn’t get it’s arse in gear and get truly up to speed with it’s CE marking duties.

Ever heard of a company called Buildcheck? For those of you who read the industry publications you will know that this company recently said that up to 80% of the window industry was currently non-compliant with CE marking. I’m not sure where they got their figures from, but even if it is only half correct, this represents an unacceptably high ratio of the double glazing industry in this country. The upcoming Consumer Rights Bill is going to exploit this situation.

The worrying part for those who have looked into the new CRB is that it is going to allow homeowners a period of five years to condemn an product: “A fault which is a latent defect can be complained about within 6 years of delivery (5 years in Scotland). The remedy is repair or replacement – if the fault is not resolved then the consumer can reject the product and get a refund subject to deduction for use, or keep the product with the fault and have a price reduction. The consumer can of course opt for a further repair or replacement to fix the fault”.

Legally, we can assume that a window or door which isn’t CE marked is faulty as it doesn’t comply with the necessary legal standards. Now consider for a moment that this 80% figure is true. That would mean 80% of the industry is fitting windows and doors with a fault. Once the general public get wind of this, potentially this could decimate thousands of companies as they simply wouldn’t be able to afford to replace all the non-CE marked windows and doors they have installed.

This might sound alarmist and very doom and gloom. But the facts are there. A non CE-marked product can be classed as faulty, and the new CRB will allow homeowners to condemn it. It’s time that we all as an industry stopped burying our heads, unite for the good of our industry and make sure that a) we all comply with CE marking, whether we like the idea or not and b) go to the Government as a united industry to explain that the current draft of the new Consumer Rights Bill is extremely dangerous to businesses of all types.

Like it or not, this is the scenario heading our way. Time to get into action!