In the European Union, the Construction Product Regulation, Regulation 305/2011, sets the requirements for marketing construction products. According to Article 2, construction products are products or kits permanently incorporated in construction works, influencing the construction works performance.
Basic requirements for construction works
Manufacturers of products falling into the definition above must comply with the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). Primarily, construction products must follow harmonised technical specifications respecting the basic requirements for construction works set in Annex I. The basic requirements for construction works concern the following aspects:
- Mechanical resistance and stability
- Safety in case of fire
- Hygiene, health and environment
- Safety and accessibility in use
- Protection against noise
- Energy economy and heat retention
- Sustainable use of natural resources
Conformity paths for construction products: harmonised standards, technical assessment, and notified bodies
As part of the compliance process, manufacturers of construction products should draw up a Declaration of Performance. Among other information, the Declaration of Performance specifies the conformity assessment route the product was subject to.
Construction products’ performance assessment can be covered by harmonised standards or the European technical assessment (ETA). While applying harmonised standards is a presumption of conformity with the applicable requirements, the ETA is a document issued by technical assessment bodies (TABs) providing information on their performance assessment. However, many products require the intervention of a notified body also when there are harmonised standards for these products. After verifying which harmonised standard they apply, manufacturers must assess under which Assessment and Verification of Constancy Performance (AVCP) system their products fall. There are four AVCP systems, depending on the product’s characteristics and intended use. Manufacturers can self-declared the conformity of AVCP 4 products, while products from AVCP 1, 2, and 3 require the intervention of a notified body.
What are technical assessment bodies (TAB)?
Technical assessment bodies are third-party organisations which issue the European technical assessment based on a European assessment document (EAD) developed by the European Organisation for Technical Assessment (EOTA). The intervention of TABs is necessary when the manufacturer does not apply harmonised standards.
Specifically, the EAD includes a general description of the product, essential characteristics agreed upon between the manufacturer and EOTA, methods and criteria for assessing the performance, and principles for factory production control.
Construction products with an ETA and products subject to a notified body’s conformity assessment must bear the CE Marking.
Obligations of manufacturers and authorised representative
The obligations of the manufacturer – described in Article 11 of the CPR – include:
- Drawing up the Declaration of Performance
- Keeping the technical documentation and declaration of performance for 10 years
- Ensuring that series production maintains the declared performance
- Ensuring that the products, their packaging, or documentation bear a type, batch, or serial number or any other identification element
- Providing with the product name, registered trade name, or registered trademark as well as contact address
- Ensuring that the product comes with instructions and safety information
- Taking necessary corrective measures to bring the product into conformity or, if appropriate, to withdraw or recall it, in case of non-compliance
- Collaborating with competent national authority
According to Article 12, manufacturers can appoint an authorised representative through a written mandate. The mandate specifies the tasks the manufacturer delegates to the authorised representative. The Regulation sets the minimum duties of the authorised representative: keeping the documentation required to prove the product’s compliance at the national competent authorities’ disposal and cooperating with the national authorities. Moreover, the CPR falls under the scope of the Market Surveillance Regulation. This implies that non-EU manufacturers must have at least one economic operators based in the EU, such as an authorised representative.
If you are a manufacturer of construction products, Obelis helps you understand and comply with the EU and UK regulatory requirements. Obelis acts as your authorised representative, reviews your documentation, and guides you through compliance.