Construction Products Regulation has entered the final phase. CE marking will be applicable in all the EU countries from Q2/Q3 2015.
PRYSMIAN GROUP is leading the way to safety and aims at facilitating its major partners’ path towards implementation of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR).
In July 2013, the CPR became fully applicable in all EU Member States. The CPR covers any cable product (power, control and communications cables) intended to be incorporated in construction works, including both buildings and civil engineering works. All cable products are hence subject to performance requirements. In particular, the essential characteristics of cables regulated under the CPR are reaction and resistance to fire, and the release of dangerous substances. Other performance characteristics will remain subject to the provisions of other relevant directives and regulations, such as the Low Voltage Directive (LVD). The CPR ensures reliable information on construction products in relation to their performances by providing a common technical language and offering uniform assessment methods (Euroclasses). These methods have been compiled in harmonised technical standards which are to be used by: manufacturers when declaring performance; authorities of Member States when specifying requirements; and users when choosing products suitable for their intended use in construction works.
Except for limited derogations, the CPR introduces a mandatory Declaration of Performance (DoP) and the CE marking on fire performance for cables used in EU construction works. All these requirements shall come into force once all necessary standards are available and a date of applicability is set by the EC. With regard to reaction to fire performance, all necessary standards are now available and there are indications that the date of applicability will be in Q2/Q3 2015. With reference to resistance to fire, standards are not yet available and a later date of application is envisaged. The CPR will not impose requirements on the level of cable performances and the setting of safety levels remains a national responsibility.
In accordance with the harmonised product standards, before placing a product on the market manufacturers have a legal obligation to draw up a DoP which identifies the product, its intended use and fire performance characteristics. Notified product certification bodies and notified testing laboratories shall be involved in this process. Products placed on the market are required to carry the CE marking and the Class of performance on the product label.
Most of the new obligations under the CPR fall on manufacturers; however importers and distributors will also play an important role as they are required to take appropriate measures to ensure that they market only CPR-compliant products.
Since CPR concerns and contributes to enhancing people’s safety, Prysmian Group aims at spreading key messages on the importance of the new EU Construction Products Regulation, and ensuring the proper level of CPR understanding by its business partners. Employees and customers must also be aware of and fully informed about the obligations on CE marking (labelling certifying the adequate quality level required for installable products in the different relevant application fields, as defined by the local level of performance). For customers the buying process has to remain as easy as it is today, and therefore it needs to be properly supported, especially during the initial stage of CPR introduction.
At the same time, Prysmian Group is developing solutions targeted to the full CPR-compliant product portfolio in all the countries where it operates. This technical challenge is being tackled by several experts and seven best-in-class pre-qualified testing facilities across Europe which are fully commissioned and equipped.
Prysmian Group, together with its R&D experts from all over Europe, is ready and has set common goals. It has also introduced a unique cross-function CPR team for each country, with the aim of serving and supporting its customers with regard to the new CE marking rules, as well as trying to anticipate future market requirements.