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Construction products proposal adopted in Parliament

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The European Parliament has adopted, in first reading, Catherine Neris’ (Party of the European Socialists, France) Report on the proposed replacement of the Construction Products Directive 89/106/EEC by a Regulation. The Report was adopted by 390 in favour to 4 against. Amendments adopted include measures to enhance protection of the environment and the use of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDi) for the impact assessment of construction works. MEPs also want the Commission to increase the range of products covered by harmonised standards. This issue is likely to be pursued under the new Parliament, with the possibility of a second reading at the end of 2009.

The vote is in line with the expectations of the cement industry and the positions it has adopted, i.e that all products covered by a harmonised technical specification (a harmonised standard or a European Technical Assessment) should bear the CE marking in order to keep that marking credible. Nevertheless, there are two amendments that CEMBUREAU does not support, namely that European standardisation bodies shall ensure that no category of actors in any one sector comprising more than 25% of the participants in a technical committee or working group (this would be difficult to apply), and that hazardous substances will be declared in the declaration of performance (REACHi has already entered into force and there is no need for additional rules).

A second reading in the European Parliament will take place after the next elections.