Free trade in construction products within Europe
The trade in construction products within the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) is governed by European rules and regulations.
The Construction Products Regulation lays down harmonised rules for the marketing of construction products in the EU. One of the rules is that manufacturers have to provide information on the safety of their products.
Characteristics of construction products
To be approved for use, construction products must perform well on certain essential characteristics, such as:
- safety in case of fire;
- safety for users;
- protection against noise.
Marking for construction products
Construction products must have a CE-mark and a Declaration of Performance. These help buyers choose what products best suit their needs, such as products that are resistant to extreme heat or that are earthquake proof. The European standards take account of these characteristics.
Requirements for buildings and construction works
A building or construction work must meet the requirements laid down in the:
- Buildings Decree 2012;
- project specifications. These documents include construction plans and information on technical matters and materials to be used.
More information is available at Aansluiting op Bouwbesluit 2012.
Trade in products with a CE-mark
Construction products with a CE-mark may be traded throughout the European Economic Area (EEA). National authorities may not set additional requirements that obstruct trade. If a product does not have a CE-mark or Declaration of Performance when it is required to by law, it may not be marketed within the EEA.
Harmonised European product standards
The European Commission decides which products require CE-marking. It makes these decisions on the basis of Harmonised Standards.
Each Harmonised Standard specifies:
- to which products it applies;
- to which product characteristics it applies;
- how the constancy of performance should be assessed.
You can use the CE-marking module on the website of the Dutch contact point for construction products (Contactpunt Bouwproducten) to find out if there is a Harmonised Standard for the product you are interested in.
A manufacturer may opt for CE-marking for their products even when it is not mandatory. In that case they have to ask a designated Technical Assessment Body (TAB) to carry out a European Technical Assessment (ETA). The European Commission publishes a list of TABs on its website.