31 March 2022

The European Commission have published their proposal to amend the European Construction Products Regulation.

Note due to Brexit, if published this proposed revision will not necessarily be implemented in the UK

In the proposal the Commission set out their objectives for the regulation which are:

  1. achieve a well-functioning single market for construction products

and to

  1. contribute to the objectives of the green and digital transition, particularly the modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy. This is an initiative within the Regulatory Fitness Programme (REFIT) as the proposal aligns with the aims of the REFIT programme, which are to make the EU laws simpler, more targeted and easier to comply with. 

The EU Commission state that the proposal aims to tackle the following problems highlighted in their review of the regulations:

1) Single market for construction products not achieved: 

The standardisation process at the core of the CPR has been underperforming. The lack of citation of up-to-date harmonised standards for construction products is a key factor undermining the smooth functioning of the single market, creating trade barriers and additional costs and administrative burden on economic operators. Outdated harmonised standards also mean that they are not always market-relevant, as the process cannot keep pace with the developments in the sector. In addition, given the underperformance of the conventional standardisation route, the workload has progressively increased on the alternative route to obtaining the CE marking via the European assessment documents (EADs). This increase in workload has therefore led to the Commission needing more time to carry out its assessments and it may even risk to paralysing the system.

2) Implementation challenges at national level.

Drawbacks linked to the functioning of the Notified Bodies were identified in the implementation report indicating that relevant CPR provisions would benefit from more accuracy, e.g. on requirements for them (Article 43 of the CPR), on operational obligations for them (Article 52) and on coordination of them (Article 55).

3) Complexity of the legal framework /simplification not achieved.

There are no specific provisions on providing information in the digital format. This will become a challenge particularly as reliable product information, from manufacturing to the installation in the building and demolition, will be necessary in the context of the digital building logbooks15, Level(s)16 or other tools for assessing and reporting on the sustainability performance of buildings.

4) The CPR is unable to deliver on broader policy priorities, such as the green and digital transition, and product safety.

The CPR significantly limits the possibilities for the sector to declare, in a consistent and harmonised way, the performance of their products and to differentiate the products with regard to climate, environment and sustainability performances. It also significantly limits the possibilities for Member States to define national requirements for buildings or to include criteria in public procurement on sustainability objectives without putting at risk the functioning of the single market.



The Construction Products Association, who we have worked closely with on the UKCA mark has said: 

"The European Commission has now published its proposal for the revision of the EU-CPR. Responses to these proposals showed that although economic operators were broadly in favour of the current EU-CPR they highlighted a number of issues that needed addressing and, therefore, required the EU-CPR to be revised. Following deliberations, the EC has chosen Option D because it paves the way for the objectives and the main shortcomings of the EU-CPR framework to be addressed with the highest degree of effectiveness and coherence. This ensures the free movement of construction products within the single market and fully responds to the ambitions stemming from the European Green Deal and the Circular economy action plan. The main changes are as follows:

•    To provide a clearer definition of the scope and inclusion of reused and 3D-printed construction products and pre-fabricated houses
•    Introduces a new empowerment for the Commission to:
o    Adopt technical specifications via Commission acts for cases where the standardisation system is not delivering on time and of sufficient quality
o    Set product requirements
•    Introduce environmental, functional and safety product requirements for construction products
•    Establish a ‘harmonised zone’, a clearer division of the role of Member States and a mechanism to pro-actively gather information on the exchange of the regulatory needs or measures of Member States and to address those in respect of the single market objectives
•    Introduce a new obligation for manufacturers to provide a Declaration of Conformity (compliance with product requirements) in addition to a Declaration of Performance; possibly to provide information via electronic means
•    Provide a list of general sustainability requirements (to be further defined per product family in Commission acts/harmonised standards)
•    Introduce and improve simplification and exemption provisions for micro-enterprises
•    Strengthen enforcement powers of market surveillance authorities
•    Extend the role of the Product Contact Points for construction to support economic operators
•    Establish a new Commission system allowing any natural or legal person to share complaints or reports related to possible breaches of the Regulation
•    Align with the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation on climate and environmental sustainability and on the Digital product passport. "