The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) – Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 – lays down harmonised rules for the marketing of construction products in the EU. A new CPR proposal is under decision process.
The Regulation provides a common technical language to assess the performance of construction products. It ensures that reliable information is available to professionals, public authorities, and consumers, so they can compare the performance of same products from different manufacturers in different countries. (source European Commission). Harmonised standards, developed by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), provide technical information about a product, and contain a part (Annex ZA) laying out the rules of for the CE marking and drawing up a declaration of performance (DoP) in accordance with the CPR. The European cement standard, EN 197-1, was the first harmonised standard in Europe.
In the last years the European Commission has introduced formal legal conditions and requirements to the content of harmonised standards, coming from successive rulings of the European Court of Justice (C-100/13, C-613/14 James Elliot, T-229/17) that has resulted in a backlog of standards. The cement industry is particularly frustrated with this situation, as the revision process of the cement standard EN 197-1 has dragged over one decade. To catch up with the delay in introducing new lower carbon cements into the market and help move forward the transition to a climate neutral society, the cement industry has decided to take the route of non-harmonised cement standards. The decision has proved efficient in speeding up the process; the procedure through publication of the non-harmonised cement standard EN 197-5 and the forthcoming EN 197-6 have taken 2 years. While publication can be quick, non-harmonised standards must attend national implementation rules for the placement of the new lower carbon cements into the market of each member state.
The European Commission has put forward a new CPR proposal which amends significantly the current CPR. The legislative procedure at the level of the European Parliament and European Council is ongoing. The proposal aims at removing the current backlog of standards and allowing the industry to work with up-to-date standards through the “acquis process” and reaching the EU Green Deal environmental policy objectives.