Associated concern over CPR

By Steve Skinner30 January 2009

Will confusion reign over the CE mark on construction products in Europe?

Will confusion reign over the CE mark on construction products in Europe?

A group of Europe's construction industry associations has voiced concern at the content of the European Commission's Construction Products Regulation (CPR), proposed to replace the existing Construction Products Directive (CPD).

Despite welcoming a move to update the CPD, the group is concerned the CPR will reverse the current trend towards European harmonisation and cause confusion in the industry.

The CPR is designed to remove regulatory and technical obstacles to the free movement of construction products in the European Economic Area through the introduction of declarations of performance. However, under the CPR proposal, a product will only require a declaration of performance if it's to be used in a country that regulates for such a declaration.

The associations fear the adoption of the CPR will reduce the value of product performance declarations in many countries. Furthermore, adoption of the CPR could transform current CE marking into a ‘voluntary' declaration of performance.

CPR will result in CE marking disappearing from entire product ranges. With some products bearing the CE mark and some carrying a declaration only, the content of which differs from one country to another, the scope for confusion is clear to see.

The industry associations expressing their apprehension at the content of the new directive include the Council of European Producers of Materials for Construction (CEPMC), the European building materials association (UFEMAT), the Architects' Council of Europe (ACE) and the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC).

Given the intended use of a construction product is often linked to its performance, CEPMC, UFEMAT, ACE and FIEC have urged that the CPR includes the existing CPD requirement regarding the generic intended use of a product.

"Contractors, specifiers and distributors need to receive reliable performance information on construction products," said a spokesperson from the group," and this must be addressed by the CPR if it's to improve on the CPD."

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