Brussels, 02 July 2013
Finishing touches to single market for construction products
Construction companies wishing to expand their business to another EU Member State need to know the challenges they might face. Employment, environmental and safety requirements may differ for construction materials and products. Yesterday the new Construction Products Regulation started to iron out the remaining unjustified regulatory and technical obstacles to the free circulation of construction products in the European Economic Area. The construction industry, including construction products, has an enormous importance for Europe’s economic well-being. It accounts for about 9.5 % of GDP and 10 % of the EU’s workforce. The sector is facing difficult times during the economic crisis and would benefit from a transparent and well functioning internal market. The Construction Products Regulation (CPR), adopted in 2011 and fully in force since 1 July 2013, will enhance the EU’s internal market. It will help construction product manufacturers to market their products in a simplified and common European legislative framework using CE Marking to demonstrate reliability of the declared product performance. The CPR also introduces specific measures to make life easier for small manufacturers and micro-enterprises.
European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship commented: “The new construction products regulation is part of the Commission’s drive to modernise EU legislation and cut unnecessary red-tape and over-regulation. We intend to make life easier for industry and in particular for small enterprises. Construction products can now be placed on the market at reduced costs and innovators can take advantage of simpler and more efficient procedures. It is also an important part of our drive to make EU industry more competitive and help it to be successful in international markets”.
CPR provides common technical language
“Construction products” include more than 40 families of products such as doors, thermal insulating products, cement, roofing products or bricks.
The CPR provides a ‘common technical language’ that manufacturers can use to declare the performance of the products they place on the European market in terms of essential characteristics. This common language, which is based on harmonised standards, is implemented in all Member States and used by all stakeholders in construction (authorities, engineers, contractors and final users).
The objective of the Regulation is to ensure the availability of reliable and accurate information on the performance of construction products, based on harmonized technical specifications and introducing clear and strict criteria for notified bodies, Technical Assessment Bodies. It also strengthens the role of market surveillance.
Manufacturers (and micro enterprises) to benefit from simplified CE marking procedures
Procedures used by manufacturers to obtain CE marking have been simplified. This will significantly reduce the costs incurred to micro-enterprises (those with < 10 staff and €2m in turnover) when significant safety concerns are not implied. All manufacturers and in particular small producers may now use existing test results to justify their performance declarations, instead of undergoing unnecessary repeat testing of their products. For products not covered by harmonised standards, simplified and streamlined procedures to obtain CE marking have been established.
The “Construction Products Regulation” (EU) 305/2011 replaces the “Construction Products Directive” (89/106/EEC).
By affixing the CE marking, manufacturers indicate that they take responsibility for the conformity of the construction product with the declared performance as well as the compliance with all applicable requirements laid down in the Construction Products Regulation and in other relevant Union harmonisation legislation providing for its affixing.