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The ‘Construction Products Directive’ aims to ensure the free movement of all construction products within the Union by introducing a common technical language, consisting of harmonised standards and European technical approvals, in which manufacturers can express the performance of the products that they place on the market.
Directive 89/106/EEC applies to construction products, i.e. any products produced with a view to their incorporation in a permanent manner in construction works.
Essential requirements of works
Construction products are placed on the market by expressing their performance in relation to a number of characteristics which have an influence on the essential requirements of works. In this regard, they must be such that works in which they are incorporated satisfy, for an economically reasonable working life, the essential requirements with regard to mechanical strength and stability, safety in the event of fire, hygiene, health and the environment, safety in use, protection against noise and energy economy and heat retention. These essential requirements are defined in Annex I to the Directive.
The essential requirements are defined in the first instance in interpretative documents drawn up by technical committees and are then elaborated further in the form of technical specifications *. The latter may be based on:
- harmonised European standards * adopted by the European standardisation bodies (CEN and/or CENELEC), further to mandates issued by the Commission, following consultations with the Standing Committee on Construction;
- a system of European technical approvals to assess the suitability of a product for its intended use in cases where there is no harmonised standard, no recognised national standard and no mandate for a European standard. The Commission feels, after consulting the Member States within the Standing Committee on Construction, that a standard cannot or cannot yet be prepared. In order to facilitate this task, the European Organisation of Technical Approvals (EOTA), which groups together the national approvals bodies, would be in a position to draw up technical approvals guidelines in respect of a construction product or family of construction products, acting on a mandate from the Commission and after consulting the Standing Committee on Construction.
In the absence of a European standard or a technical approval, construction products may continue to be assessed and marketed in accordance with existing national provisions.
Only construction products that comply with the national standards transposing the harmonised standards into a European technical approval or, in the absence of such approvals, into national technical specifications approved by the Standing Committee on Construction are eligible to bear the “CE” marking.
Attestation of conformity
It is up to the manufacturers or their representatives established in the Community to attest, either on the basis of their own resources or through an approved certification body, that their products conform with the requirements of a technical specification in keeping with the attestation of conformity procedures set out in the Directive. These procedures should be stipulated by decision of the Commission following a favourable opinion of the Standing Committee on Construction, in accordance with the special characteristics of a particular product or group of products.
Products which have been declared to conform with the Directive but which pose a health and safety threat may be temporarily withdrawn from the market by the Member States. Where the threat is attributable to the technical specifications, to their application or to omissions inherent therein, the Commission will decide, after consulting the Standing Committee on Construction, whether the European or national technical specification should or should not continue to enjoy presumption of conformity.
The Annexes to the Directive contain detailed information on:
- the essential requirements of works;
- European technical approval;
- the attestation of conformity with the technical specifications: methods of control, systems of attestation, competent bodies, marking, certificate and EC declaration of conformity;
- the certification and inspection bodies and the testing laboratories.
|Key terms used in the act|
|Act||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|27.12.1988||27.6.1991||OJ L 40, 11.2.1989|
|Amending act(s)||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|2.8.1993||2.8.1993||OJ L 220, 30.8.1993|
Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003
|20.11.2003||-||OJ L 284, 31.10.2003|
For more information, consult the European Commission’s NANDO information system.