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Obligations of Economic Operators


As a result of the “new legal framework” (internal market package) and in contrast to the Construction Products Directive, explicit “obligations of economic operators” were laid down in the Construction Products Regulation. A distinction is made between manufacturers, authorised representatives, importers and distributors.


Apart from obvious provisions, such as specifying the name and address of the manufacturer or importer on the products or their packaging or in attached documents, the providing of the declaration of performance, the instruction manual and any safety information along with the products, it is also expressly laid down that the manufacturer has to ensure that the declared performance is consistently achieved. The manufacturer must also take immediate corrective action in the case of non-conformities and inform the responsible authorities, in particular the market surveillance authority, if a hazard is present. He is in any case required to answer to the market surveillance authority.


Importers are to place only those construction products on the market which meet the requirements of the Construction Products Regulation. They must therefore verify that the manufacturer has done “the assessment and the verification of constancy of performance” and that all documents (declaration of performance, technical documentation, etc.) are provided. Importers must also ensure that declarations of performance, instructions for use and safety information are supplied in a language determined by the Member State concerned which can be easily understood by users. Furthermore, the importer is responsible for ensuring that the storage or transport conditions do not adversely affect the product (e.g. compliance with the declared performance). The importer has the same obligations towards the authorities as a manufacturer.


Before making a construction product available on the market, distributors too have to make sure that the product carries the CE marking and that the required documents (declaration of performance, instructions for use and safety information) are enclosed with the product in the correct language. Like importers, they are also responsible for ensuring that the product’s performance is not affected by the storage or transport conditions.

Type, Batch and Serial Numbers

In all cases, the relationship between product, CE marking and declaration of performance must be made clear by means of the appropriate type, batch or serial numbers on the product or the packaging and documents.

Change of a Construction Product

A very important provision states that the importer or distributor has to assume the responsibilities of a manufacturer whenever he places a construction product on the market under his name or trademark or modifies a construction product that is already placed on the market in such a way that it may affect its performance. In this case, an importer or distributor becomes the “manufacturer”, as it were.