Construction Products Regulation to enter into force in July
Bricks, insulating material, pipes, doors and other construction products must help to make our homes and other buildings safe and healthy. The EU Construction Products Regulation - which enters into force on 1 July 2013 - lays down uniform rules for this purpose, which also cover trade within the EU.
Manufacturers, importers and distributors have to specify a product's performance by means of the existing CE marking and, as of 1 July, the new declaration of performance. The declaration will make the producer's liability transparent for all market players. It will provide the information needed to prove compliance with the relevant requirements, including constructional safety, fire safety, health, hygiene and energy efficiency. Without a declaration, a product cannot carry a CE marking.
The drafting of the Regulation began in 2008 and it was adopted in Brussels in March 2011. The private sector has therefore had enough time to adapt to the new rules.
The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Regulation in the Netherlands. It will check whether product information is accurate and complete, and whether products perform as advertised. It will carry out both announced and unannounced inspections. Infringement of the CE marking rules constitutes an economic offence. The ILT can take administrative enforcement action, impose monetary payments or institute criminal proceedings. Offences include not having a mandatory CE marking or declaration of performance, falsifying test reports and failing to ensure that a product conforms with the declaration of performance.
The Regulation requires manufacturers, importers and distributors to check whether construction products conform with the CE marking and declaration of performance. If this is not the case, they should rectify the situation or withdraw the product from the market. In the event of serious risks, they must notify the ILT. The ILT will then warn the rest of the sector via RAPEX, the EU's rapid alert system. If distributors identify discrepancies but the manufacturer fails to take action, they can submit an enforcement request to the ILT. All market players can report any wrongdoing or submit an enforcement request to the ILT via the Reporting Office and Information Centre. This can also be done anonymously.
A booklet is available on the new Regulation, explaining the rules and procedures.