Who needs to know about the changes?

The CPR place onerous obligations on manufacturers of construction products. Obligations are also placed on importers and distributors of those products and various enforcement authorities. Anyone involved in the construction products market should be aware of the new regime and their potential obligations.

  • Manufacturers - defined as any person or company who "manufactures a construction product, or who has such a product designed and manufactured, and markets that product under his name or trademark". Be aware that you may be a "manufacturer" even if you don't actually make the product yourself.
  • Importers - any person or company, established in the EU who "places a construction product from a third country on the Union market".
  • Distributor - any person or company other than the manufacturer and importer "who makes a construction product available on the market".

Construction products are widely defined and refer to any product or kit which is placed on the market and is intended for permanent incorporation in construction works. The CPR may not apply to bespoke products or products manufactured on site. They also may not apply to products manufactured using traditional techniques where necessary for conservation or heritage purposes.

What's happening?

From 1 July 2013 it will become mandatory for construction products to be tested against harmonised technical standards known as European product standards (hENs) or European Technical Assessments (ETAs).

Where construction products are to be placed on the market in the EU, a Declaration of Performance (DoP) must be published to confirm that construction products comply with those standards. Construction products must also be CE marked.

Primary responsibility for DoPs and CE marking lies with manufacturers. Importers and distributors also have responsibility for checking that products which they place on the market comply with the CPR.

We have prepared individual checklists for manufacturers, importers and distributors.

The CPR have direct effect and therefore enforceable in the UK without any further legislation. The UK government is preparing legislation to confirm which body will be responsible for enforcing the CPR (presumably Trading Standards, but this remains to be confirmed) and setting out penalties for non-compliance.