Farmers could face a shortage of building contractors at this crucial time in the farm building year if a crackdown on CE Marking weeds out those who are supplying steel frames illegally.

That is the warning from the Rural and Industrial Design and Building Association (RIBDA), which has campaigned to help steel frame contractors meet the requirements of the new CE Marking legislation.

This was introduced five months ago when it became a criminal offence, punishable by a prison sentence, for a steel framed building (which most agricultural buildings are) to be supplied without a CE Mark.

Some Trading Standards departments are now contacting businesses subject to CE Marking to establish what steps they have taken to achieve compliance with the new legislation under the Construction Products Regulations 2011.

RIDBA national secretary Tony Hutchinson said: “Trading Standards are beginning to be proactive in policing CE Marking of construction materials so anyone fabricating structural steel who is not CE accredited could face difficulties in continuing to trade. However, we will of course continue to support those who are working towards accreditation.”

CE Marking demonstrates, among other things, that the building is fit for purpose under BS EN 1090-1:2009 ‘Execution of Steel Structures and Aluminium Structures’. Recent winters appear to have shown that many farm buildings may not have been fit for purpose since they have collapsed under the weight of snow because they were either not correctly designed or fabricated.

Luckily no-one has been harmed but another potentially bad winter is upon the farming fraternity and because some contractors have been lax in complying with the new CE Marking legislation this could have far-reaching effects on the way farmers source new buildings.

Farmers can ensure the new buildings they are investing in are correctly designed and fabricated to CE Marking standards by engaging a steel-framed building manufacturer member of RIDBA, listed on their website at

To find assured CE marking building contractors in the South East, see this month’s magazine.