EU Construction Products

Construction Product Rules

There are harmonised EU wide rules on construction products standards. They include substantive rules about the actual quality of the materials in terms of performance across a range of issues, together with procedural rules on enforcing those standards. They cover things such as mechanical resistance, safety, hygiene, health, noise, efficiency, sustainable use et cetera. There are common assessment methods for construction products in a single European scheme for declaring the performance

There are over 450 harmonised standards for construction products. There are systems for proving conformity and verifying constancy for each type of product. There are EU notified bodies were involved in certain aspects. There is mandatory CE marking of construction products which acts as a passport to sell them to the EU.

Each state designates notifying bodies authorised to carry on assessment and verification. In the context of Brexit, the issue arises of the status of the UK notified bodies.

The harmonised standards may require a declaration of performance or conformity as defined under the regulations and affixing of the CE marking. Conflicting national standards were required to be withdrawn. The CE marking is largely self-certifying but may involve the intervention of notified bodies in particular cases as defined by the regulations for that product

The declaration of performance provides information on performance. The manufacturer must assume responsibility for conformity with the declared standard of performance. Manufacturers have obligations to maintain documentation for a period of 10 years provide information and safety collective measures and to cooperate with authorities.

After Brexit, a UK manufacturer would need to transfer the file from the UK notified body to an EU notified body or apply for a new certificate by an EU notified body after Brexit

Other Categories of product

There are similar controls and EU wide regulation in respect of a broad range of other categories of products encountered in construction, which may have slightly differing roles. They include some / most electrical equipment, personal protective equipment, machinery, pressurised gas equipment, and some other categories.

In these cases, the exact way in which the rules work differ to those under the construction products rules but are broadly similar. The extent to which an external notified body is involved depends on the risk and nature of the products. The more onerous rules, controls, and independent checks are required for riskier products. Depending on the nature of the product there may be a requirement for a declaration of conformity or declaration of performance.

Accordingly, what is set out below which is applicable to construction products may apply in slightly different terms to other products which you may stock and supply under other regulations. However, the broad approach necessary for establishing the position which your UK manufacturers /suppliers remain the same