The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) finally comes into force on July 1st 2013. Paul Duggan of Exova Warrington Certification Ltd examines the issues.
The CPR will directly affect all manufacturers, distributors, end users, specifiers and architects in the whole supply chain.
This will be the construction industry’s most significant change for a long time in the way in which construction products are sold in Europe, including the CE marking of products.
From July 1st 2013, under the Construction Products Regulation 2011 (CPR), it will become mandatory for manufacturers or the legal entity whom is placing a product on the market to apply CE marking to any of their products which are covered by a harmonised European standard (hEN).
Hardware products, for example door closers, hinges, panic and emergency exit devices and locks, will also need to have the new Declaration of Performance (DoP) for declaring the essential characteristics, which is a new requirement under the CPR.
European Technical Assessment
Where a manufacturer chooses to test fire-stopping products for example, ablative coated boards, putty and fire stop pillows to a European Technical Assessment (ETA) which has a clause allowing for CE marking, then the manufacturer will have to also apply a CE mark and produce a DoP for the product, the same as a harmonised EN standard.
DoPs are replacing the current Manufacturers Declarations, which are currently produced when declaring a performance of the product for ENs or ETAs.
Affixing of the CE mark under the provisions of the existing Construction Products Dircetive (CPD) is currently voluntary in the UK and some other member countries, so this is a major change in some areas of the UK construction industry.
The CE marking should be affixed to all construction products for which the manufacturer is declaring compliance with the regulations. From this a DoP will be produced and will reflect the CE marking requirements.
One of the priorities is to make all products traceable back to the person placing the product legally on the market, the legal entity.
Traceability of products
One of the major consequences of these duties is traceability.
Distributors-importers become crucial in this respect. They can become the legal entity and they sell products under their own name and brand. If they don’t then they have to sell each brand separately with its own stock record number, so that traceability is achieved back to the legal entity placing the product on the market.
If a product available on the market is found not to be in compliance with the requirements of the DoP then every step should be taken to correct this or it should be withdrawn or recalled from the market.
If a product presents a risk, then the competent authority of the member state should be informed immediately. Details of the non-compliance will be needed and any corrective measures should be taken.
For the UK, Trading Standards will be the main organisation responsible for enforcement.
Construction products which have been placed on the market in accordance with Directive 89/106/EEC before 1 July 2013 shall be deemed to comply with the CPR.
Manufacturers or the legal entity may draw up a DoP now on the basis of a certificate or declaration of conformity, which has been issued by a Notified Body before July 1, 2013 in accordance with Directive 89/106/EEC.
The change to CPR will not have a great effect on those already CE marking products, those member states which currently mandate CE marking under the CPD or those manufacturers whose products are subject to a European Technical Assessment or European Assessment Documents. The main change will be producing the new DoP.
Do ask to see the DoP or view it on the relevant website as not all products are acceptable for the application just because they carry the CE mark.
Check if the product has the correct fire and/ or smoke characteristics if it is going in an area where fire and smoke barriers are needed.
The CPR will have a significant effect on those who may have been ‘sheltering’ under the CPD. There is no flexibility on the start date or duties involved.
Articles 13, 14 & 15 sets out ‘Obligation of Importers, Distributors & Manufacturers.’
Importers, Distributors and Manufacturers shall ensure products bear the CE mark before placing it on the market and has the required accompanying documents including DoP.
If a product is not in conformity with the DoP, there is a duty to withdraw or recall products.
There is now a clear duty on importers, manufacturers and distributors to inform the national authority of Member states in severe cases, in the UK the Trading Standards.
An additional requirement is for each importer. manufacturer or distributor to establish National ‘Product Contact Points’ to assist traceability.