With the introduction of compulsory CE marking and the new Part L rapidly approaching, 2013 will mark a significant change in how UK joinery companies operate.

Are you ready to embrace the challenge?

Over the past year it has become apparent to the BWF that in some parts of the industry, understanding of Part L is patchy at best. We put out information and guidance in the run-up to the 2010 Part L regulations coming into force last October. However, when our technical team spoke to members we found that many only started to consider the implications of the regulations around six weeks before they were enforceable, or when contracts that demanded compliance with the new standards started landing on their desk.

Typically woodworking and joinery companies are small, craft-focused businesses working in a very traditional remit. It isn’t in their nature to investigate research and digest the finer details of new legislation – not least when faced with the pressure of business and the economy.

But, we’re already engaged in the early discussions shaping Part L’s 2013 revisions, the next big step on the journey to zero carbon. If the industry is going to cope with tightening standards, this attitude has simply got to change.

Furthermore, from 2013, CE marking for joinery products becomes mandatory. Understandably some smaller joinery manufacturers are concerned that the requirements could be bureaucratic and complicated. But this change will also bring important benefits – buyers can easily identify high-performing products manufactured, allowing them to make informed, confident choices.

From the manufacturer’s perspective, the key to reducing the hassle and cost of new legislation is good preparation. Failing to prepare will be financially prohibitive and a culture shift is needed to make these changes more prominent in everyone’s minds.

The real challenge is to try to get everybody enthused and engaged. There are plenty of industry discussions looking towards 2013, but the biggest benefits will come to those who get involved now!

TTJ Industry Updates are a forum for trade bodies to address key issues.