Confindustria Ceramica

Pallet piastrelle di ceramica - logisticaby Giordana Carani - Centro Ceramico25   Luglio   2016

EN 14411, 2016 edition: what will it change

European Standard EN 14411, which was drafted by the CEN Technical Committee TC 67 “Ceramic tiles” with UNI Secretariat, was first published by CEN (the European Committee for Standardisation) in October 2003 with the title “Ceramic tiles – Definitions, classification, characteristics and marking (ISO 13006:1998 modified)”.  It is worth recalling that the CEN members are the national standards bodies and organisations of 33 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. In its 1992 edition, EN 14411 had replaced the previous European Standards EN 87, EN 121, EN 159, EN 176, EN 177, EN 178, EN 186, EN 187 and EN 188 which had been in force since the mid 80s.

Since its first edition, EN 14411 has introduced several and significant innovations as to the rules and laws that regulated ceramic tiles in the past.

In particular:
- it adopts the international standard ISO 13006 “Ceramic tiles – Definitions, classification, characteristics and marking”, which was drafted by the technical committee ISO/TC 189 and was published by ISO (International Standard Organization) in 1998. As a consequence, world tile trading has gained an efficient communication tool. Italian tiles, which have always been exported, will now be able to make themselves known over non-EU countries by use of the same “legal language” adopted in Italy and Europe;

- for tile trading within the EU, EN 14411 also describes the procedures to implement the European Commission’s legally binding provisions on CE conformity marking for building materials – such as ceramic tiles are.
EN 14411 is therefore a harmonised standard containing, in simple terms, an operative part, i.e. a voluntary one (transposition of ISO 13006), and a series of binding aspects, which are legally compulsory (the CE conformity marking).

Since it was first published, standard EN 14411 has gone through several revisions as shown in Table 1. In Italy, UNI publishes all UNI EN 14411 editions, and the same happens in the 33 countries whose national standards bodies are currently CEN members.

It is important to draw the attention on how important it is to know about the different standards editions; not only to satisfy curiosity about the past, but mainly to take its contents into consideration in case a dispute arises over tiles marketed years ago. Since ceramic tiles are so durable, a tile manufacturer might receive a claim about tiles that were produced and/or sold many years ago, let’s say in 2008. In this case the requirements to consider, if applicable, should be the ones that were in force at the time; so that the standard to consult would have to be EN 14411:2006, and not the current one. Disputes as such get reported to the Ceramic Centre more frequently than one could think.
As shown in table 1, the EN 14411 edition in force at the time of writing (July 2016) dates October 2012, and was adopted by UNI a month later. Yet the harmonised EN 14411:2016, thoroughly revised, has recently been published and will be available in its final version from July 13th, 2016. Being a harmonised standard, EN 14411:2016 will enter into force once it gets published in the Official Journal  of the European Union – OJEU. We therefore suggest you follow the whole process on the OJEU website at and/or on CEN website at

Standard ISO 13006
reference edition
CE marking according to Active since Active until Adopted by/withdrawn  from UNI

EN 14411:2003


CPD 89/106 ECC

Oct. 2003

Dic. 2006

Aug 2004/

May 2007

EN 14411:2006


CPD 89/106 ECC

Dec 2006

Ott. 2012

May 2007/

Dec. 2012

EN 14411:2012


CPD 89/106 ECC

Oct. 2012

In force


currently in force

EN 14411:2016


CPR 305/2011

Disponibile dal 13/07/16 – in attesa di pubblicazione su OJEU




Tab. 1 – Revisioni EN 14411

Compared to 2012 edition, major changes are both editorial and technical. Here they are.

Editorial changes
Correction of mistakes from the previous edition. In particular, in the 2012 edition the annexes on requirements of some groups of products were carrying different letters than they used to. Since the annex and the corresponding letter must be reported on the boxes of marketed products, this mistake has created confusion, and costs for box marking has increased. EN 14411: 2016 finally restores the traditional and correct identification of the annexes. The groups involved are specified in table 2.
Other minor editorial changes are carefully listed in the initial part of EN 14411:2016 to which you should refer.


Annex EN 14411:2012

Annex EN 14411:2016













Tab.2: Annex labels variations

Technical changes
- Decorative pieces, special pieces and accessories have been excluded from the application field since they are not part of the Commission’s mandate to CEN. These components, not being part of the mandate, do not require CE marking. Such resolution, which aligns the application field of  EN 14411 voluntary part to that of ISO 13006, recognizes the objective difficulty of passing the several tests EN ISO 10545 requires – besides those for CE marking. On the other hand, EN 14411: 2016 will still include mosaics, meaning small pieces within 49 cm2 wide. As to mosaics, paragraph 8 (Marking), states that if tile pieces are that small, there is no such obligation as to indicate the country of origin on the tile itself.

- The so-called meshed backed products (that is tiles with a strengthened back made of glass fibre layers or layers of any other similar material but ceramics - often called ‘mats’) have been excluded from the application field. These multilayer products are considered as “systems” or kits as envisaged by the EU CPR (Construction Products Regulation) No. 305/2011 which defines a kit as “a construction product placed on the market by one manufacturer and composed of at least two distinct elements which, to be employed in construction, need assembling” (article 2 of CPR 305/2011).

- Paragraph 6 Evaluation of conformity has been changed into Assessment and verification of constancy of performance (AVCP), adjusting it to Regulation No. 305/2011 and following the guidelines reported in the document Construction Sector Standardization – Guidance Document (TF N 548 Rev1).

- In annex ZA on resistance to detachment, the reference to Regulation No. EN 1015-12 has been eliminated as not appropriate (it referring to adhesion of plaster and gesso).

- Annex ZA has been completely rewritten according to EU CPR No. 305/2011 repealing directive No. 89/106 ECC. This has solved a serious, and sometimes thorny, misalignment between regulation EN 14411:2012 – still referring to old directive No. 89/106 for construction products – and the new regulation, which has been into force since 2013 after two years of transitional measures. In particular, EN 14411:2016 provides a model for the drafting of DoP, Declaration of Performance, as well as for CE marking on boxes.


The publication of EN 14411:2016 indeed solves a few problems which are linked to editorial and technical mistakes or, as we have seen, to misalignments with the 2012 binding provisions for CE marking. Nevertheless, the rapid evolution of products (such as increasingly large ceramic slab) and demands from an increasingly global market call for enhanced harmonized rules and standards for ceramic tiles. These changes take place within the larger legislation, the ISO standard, where both ISO 13006 and many parts of ISO 10545 are being thoroughly reviewed. Once the new ISO 13006 is published, presumably in 2017, EN 14411:2016 will have to be revised or amended, at least in its voluntary part. Another important novelty concerns the new customs codes for tiles which will be adopted starting from 2017: the new codes will be linked to water absorption, to be measured using the vacuum method instead of the boiling method envisaged by ISO 13006 for the classification of ceramic tiles. What is likely to happen is a (preferably short) period of coexistence of different methods for the classification of tiles in international trading on one side, and for the technical classification required by ISO 13006 and EN 14411 (CE marking included) on the other. With the hope of reaching full harmonisation soon, we strongly recommend you to carefully monitor any further development taking place.