The placing on the European Union (EU) market of construction products is subject to Directive 89/106/EEC (OJ L-40 11/02/1989), which does not lay down the essential requirements regarding the products themselves, but the construction works in which these products are to be incorporated. Essential requirements for works are developed and translated into technical specifications by means of interpretative documents.
Scope of application
The Directive applies to construction products, meaning any product which is produced with a view to permanent incorporation into construction works, including both buildings and civil engineering works.
Essential requirements and interpretative documents
Essential requirements do not refer to construction products but to construction works in which these products are to be incorporated. Construction products must be suitable for works which satisfy, for an economically reasonable working life, the essential requirements set out in Annex I to the Directive, which refer to mechanical resistance, stability, safety in case of fire, hygiene, health and the environment.
Interpretative documents serve as a bridge between the essential requirements and the technical specifications. They harmonise the terminology and the technical bases, indicating classes for each requirement and methods of correlating these classes with the technical specifications. The classification of requirements into product classes is designed to take into account the differences of geographical position, climate and way of life which exist in the various Member States. A list of the interpretative documents under this Directive can be found at: http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/enterprise/construction/internal/intdoc/intdoc.htm
The technical specifications to meet the above essential requirements are not described in the Directive, which allows manufacturers, or their representatives, to fulfil the essential requirements by any appropriate means. However, the following types of specifications provide a presumption of conformity to the essential requirements they implement:
(a) Harmonised standards
Harmonised standards are established by the European standardisation bodies (CEN and CENELEC) on the basis of the mandates given by the Commission, having regard to interpretative documents and guidance papers. European standards drawn up by these bodies are given priority over Member States’ standards.
A list of approved harmonised standards can be found at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/enterprise/newapproach/standardization/harmstds/reflist/construc.html
(b) European technical approvals
The European Organisation of Technical Approvals (EOTA) draws up technical approvals guidelines (ETAG) for some sectors. A list of endorsed ETAGs can be found at: http://www.eota.be/html/endorsed.htm.
For products which strongly deviate from the European or national standards manufacturers or their representatives can request an approval body, member of EOTA, to certificate a European Technical Approval (ETA) according to the assessment principles set out in the relevant ETA guideline. In product areas where technical approval guidelines do not exist, the approval could also be awarded subject to the agreement of all EOTA bodies and the European Commission.
A list of issued ETAs can be found at: http://www.eota.be/html/etawhoutetag.htm
(c) National technical standards
In the absence of harmonised standards and European technical approvals, national technical specifications may be recognized as providing a suitable basis for a presumption that the essential requirements are met. This standards have to be notified to and accepted by the European Commission and the other Member States.
Compliance attestation procedures are specified in ETAGs and Commission Decisions either by product, by product family or by horizontal subjects (like dangerous substances or fire resistance of certain products). The degree of involvement in these procedures of the manufacturer depends on the affected product: from a mere declaration of conformity by the manufacturer (with or without the intervention of a notified body), to a full conformity certification of the product by a notified body.
Notified bodies are organisations designated by each Member State and notified to the Commission and the other Member States, that are in charge of assesing manufaturer's conformity to the esssential requirements when a third party is required.
A list of Decisions relating to attestation of compliance can be found at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/enterprise/construction/internal/cpdcomp/declist.htm.
Manufacturers, or their representatives established in the EU, must attest, either on the basis of their own resources or through a notified body, that their products comply with the requirements of the relevant technical specifications in order to convey the CE marking and be placed on the market anywhere within the European Union.
Products which have been declared to comply with the Directive but which do not satisfy the essential requirements and therefore pose a health and safety threat may be temporarily withdrawn from the market by the Member States. Where non-compliance is attributable to the technical specifications, to their application or to omissions, the Commission decides, after consulting the Standing Committee on Construction, whether the European or national technical specification should or should not continue to enjoy presumption of conformity.
Council Directive 89/106/EEC of 21 December 1988 on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to construction products (OJ L-40 11/02/1989)
Service Public Fédéral Economie, PME, Classes moyennes et Energie (Federal Public Service for Economy, SME, Middle-class and Energy)
Service Sécurité des Produits (Product Safety Service)
Qualité et Sécurité (Quality and Safety)
WTC III Boulevard Simon Bolivar, 30
B-1000 Brussel / Bruxelles
Tel: (+32) 2 277 60 28
Fax: (+32) 2 277 54 44
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.mineco.fgov.be
Institut Belge de Normalisation - IBN (Belgian Institute for Standardisation)
Loi of 25/03/1996, implementing Council Directive of 21 December 1988 on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to construction products (MB of 21/05/1996)
Additional information for Cyprus
Competent authority / competent bodies
Ypourgeio Sygkoinonion kai Ergon (Ministry of Communications and Works)
Regulation 832/2003, implementing the Construction Products Directive (EE 07/11/2003)
Additional information for the Czech Republic
Competent authority / competent bodies
Úřad pro technickou normalizaci, metrologii a státní zkušebnictví (Czech Office for Standards, Metrology and Testing)
Technická komise pro stavební výrobky (Technical Commission for Construction Products)
List of bodies authorised to iusse European Technical Approvals.
Toote nõuetele vastavuse tõendamise seadus - Product Conformity Attestation Act of 17/11/1999 (RT I 1999, 92, 825)
Ehitusseadus - Construction Law of 15/05/2002 (RT I 2002, 47, 297)
Ehitusmaterjali ja -toote nõuetele vastavuse tõendamise kord ja eri liiki ehitustoodete nõuetele vastavuse tõendamiseks vajalikud vastavushindamise protseduurid - Regulation on the conformity attestation procedure for building materials and construction products of 4 May 2004 (RTL 2004, 61, 1023)