Construction Products Regulation (CPR) 305/2011/EU is effective since July 1st, 2013. It significantly enhances the completeness and reliability of the entire regulatory framework regarding the stability and safety of construction products while establishing stricter and more precise criteria in the involvement of notified bodies (auditing and assessment organizations accredited by EU member states) or other parties in the process of evaluating and verifying construction products’ compliance.
CPR aims at eliminating all barriers regarding the sale and distribution of construction products within and throughout the European Union. This is accomplished by adhering to four core principles described within the CPR, with respect to obtaining CE mark certification (Conformité Européenne). The CE mark is mandatory and provides proof that the product complies with the Declaration of Performance (DoP), as issued by the producer.
The DoP varies according to the harmonized European Norm (hEN) applicable to each specific product.
1) HARMONIZED EUROPEAN NORMS
- Harmonized European Norms or standards (hENs), as defined by the European Standards Organizations CEN/CENELEC, by request of the European Commission.
2) ASSESSMENT AND VERIFICATION OF CONSTANCY OF PERFORMANCE
- Factory Production Control (FPC), which includes written policies and procedures regarding processes, implementation of actions and internal audit procedures for maintenance and improvement of the performance.
- Initial inspection of the manufacturing plant and of the FPC.
- Continuous monitoring, assessment and evaluation of the FPC.
- Product type identification on the basis of type testing (including sampling) or based on descriptive documentation.
- Further testing of samples taken at the factory by the manufacturer in accordance with a prescribed test plan.
- Maintaining comprehensive technical documentation on each product.
3) FRAMEWORK FOR NOTIFIED ORGANIZATIONS (NOTIFIED BODIES)
4) DECLARATION OF PERFORMANCE (DoP) AND PRODUCT CE MARKING
Architectural glass exhibits a wide range of applications that span beyond its basic set of characteristics as an insulating, transparent space divider, into areas such as safety and protection, solar control and energy efficiency, to name but a few. As the importance of architectural glass in construction increases, so is the necessity for the certification of its mechanical properties, its endurance over time, and its constancy of performance under the rules and guidelines of the European norms.
Obligations of Manufacturers
The CPR 305/2011/EU, effective as of July 1st, 2013, places strong emphasis in distinguishing between the obligations of manufacturers of construction products, as opposed to the obligations of importers and distributors.
It specifically emphasizes the cases when the obligations of the producers become also the obligations of the importers and distributors, specifying that an importer or distributor shall be considered a manufacturer and shall be subject to the same obligations, in the event he places a product on the market under his name or trademark or modifies a construction product already placed on the market in such a way that conformity with the declaration of performance may be affected.
DISTINGUISHING OF OBLIGATIONS ACCORDING TO CPR 305/2011/EU
Obligations of Manufacturers (Article 11)
They can be partially or entirely passed on to an importer or distributor.
- Draw up a declaration of performance (DoP) and affix the CE marking
- Any information made public regarding the product’s performance should not contradict the information provided in the DoP.
- Maintain the technical documentation and the declaration of performance for a period of 10 years since the first introduction of the product in the market.
- Ensure that any product placed on the market is uniquely identifiable and its manufacturing process fully traceable.
- Product withdrawal in the event the product is not in conformity with the DoP or other aspects of this regulation.
- Where the product presents a risk, manufacturers shall immediately inform the national authorities of the Member State.
- Provide to a competent national authority all relevant information and documentation requested.
- Ensure that the product is accompanied by instructions and safety information that can be easily understood by users in the language of the Member State concerned.
Obligations of Importers (Article 13)
The importer’s obligations fall between those of the manufacturer and those of the distributor.
- Place in the market only construction products that are compliant with the CPR 305/2011/EU.
- Ensure that the manufacturer complies with the obligations of this regulation.
(An importer shall be considered a manufacturer and shall be subject to the same obligations, in the event he places a product on the market under his name or trademark or modifies a construction product already placed on the market in such a way that conformity with the DoP may be affected, Article 15)
Obligations of Distributors (Article 14)
For CE marked products:
- Ensure that the construction product bears the CE marking.
- Ensure that the construction product bears the proper brand-name.
- Ensure that the CE mark reference number matches that of the DoP.
- Distribute the DoP and any relevant accompanying documents.
A distributor shall be considered a manufacturer and shall be subject to the same obligations, in the event he places a product on the market under his name or trademark or modifies a construction product already placed on the market in such a way that conformity with the DoP may be affected (Article 15).