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Basic Changes as a result of the Construction Products Regulation


Regulation rather than Directive

Triggered by a strategy of the Commission for the simplification of the regulatory environment (Better Regulation – Simplification Strategy 2005 - 2008) as well as by the “New Legal Framework” (internal market package) adopted in 2008, the project of a new Construction Products Regulation was launched in 2008. The European Commission (EC) has effected a change in legal instrument, with the previous Directive having been replaced by a Regulation. An EU Regulation does not have to be transposed into national law, but is directly applicable in the Member States, in the same way as if it were a national legal provision.

Definition of Terms

As far as content is concerned, the Construction Products Regulation has been adapted to the “new legal framework” insofar as clearer definitions of terms have been established - in particular concerning the “placing on the market” of construction products,  the “making available on the market of construction products” as well as “economic operators” for whom explicit responsibilities have been established.


The notification has been regulated differently as well: a separate notifying authority must now exist in each of the Member States. Furthermore, there are extensive detailed regulations for the notification of “bodies authorised to carry out third-party tasks for the assessment and verification of constancy of performance”.

Market Surveillance

Furthermore, specific provisions regarding the market surveillance of construction products were introduced in the Construction Products Regulation in alignment with Regulation (EG) Number 765/2008.

Change in “Philosophy”

The Construction Products Regulation brings with it a fundamental change in “philosophy”. Whereas under the Construction Products Directive the CE marking signified that a construction product complied with the relevant European technical specifications (harmonised standards or European Technical Approvals), the exclusive focus of the Construction Products Regulation is now the “conformity of the construction product with the declaration of performance”. The Construction Products Regulation thus leaves the framework of the “New Approach” (new concept) of the other guidelines that introduce the CE marking of products. In consequence, the previous “Attestation of Conformity” with Technical Specifications has been renamed “Assessment and Verification of Constancy of Performance”. The CE marking and in particular the newly introduced “declaration of performance” is intended as an information tool, as a „common technical language” with which the users of construction products shall be notified of the properties (performance in terms of “essential characteristics”) of the construction products.

European Technical Assessments

A further consequence is that the previous European Technical Approvals have been renamed “European Technical Assessments”. There are so-called “European Assessment Documents” (EAD) serving as a basis for European Technical Assessments. A distinction between “European Technical Approval Guidelines” (ETAG) and the CUAP procedure no longer exists. Existing European Technical Approval Guidelines may continue to be used - they are considered EADs based on a transitional provision. This is not the case with CUAPs, which must be converted to EADs.