Ahead of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) revision Technical Stakeholders’ Conference held on 7 September, the European Builders Confederation (EBC), the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC), Construction Products Europe and Small Business Standards (SBS) published a joint discussion paper on the role of the standardisation system in the current CPR to contribute to the ongoing discussions on its potential revision.
Standardisation is crucial for the European construction sector. As one of the main pillars of the Internal Market, standards facilitate the free movement of construction products in the European Union and streamline construction activities. Their important role is acknowledged in the EU legislation, notably the CPR and the European Standardisation Regulation.
Indeed, construction product manufacturers and contractors strongly rely on standards, which allow them to respond to both market and regulatory needs. However, in recent years the integration of standards in the regulatory system has often failed and resulted in less efficiency in the construction sector and damage to the Internal Market.
In this context, EBC, FIEC, Construction Products Europe and SBS, as crucial stakeholders of the construction sector and the standardisation community, believe that some of the challenges of the standardisation system should be solved as soon as possible within the current legislative framework through pragmatic solutions, while others may require changes in the CPR with a long-term perspective.
The four organisations have published today a joint discussion paper about the future of the standardisation system within the CPR. They point to the urgent need for short-term actions in the context of the post Covid-19 economic recovery. Up-to-date standards are desperately needed to keep a well-functioning European regulatory framework and to pursue the objectives of the EU Green Deal as well as European ambitions for a circular economy. To achieve these objectives, the four organisations jointly ask the European Commission (EC) to:
- Provide a flexible approach to the development of harmonised product standards, allowing the industry to put forward technical solutions matching its needs while satisfying regulation;
- Streamline the development of standardisation requests, ensuring both fast delivery and transparency;
- Put in place joint actions between the European Standardisation Organisations and the EC to remove the backlog in the citation of harmonised product standards in the Official Journal of the European Union.
On long-term aspects of the CPR review, EBC, FIEC, Construction Products Europe and SBS will soon present joint technical proposals to address the challenges of the current CPR framework. The final aim should be to create a well-functioning standardisation system that remains an inclusive process, allowing the integration of multiple technical points of view within the standards development process, notably SMEs’ perspectives. In fact, standards need to be written with consensus between all stakeholders for the benefit of society at large. Only with constructive dialogue, involving all relevant stakeholders, will we be able to establish an appropriate regulatory system facilitating the free circulation of construction products.
Click on the image below or here to read the full discussion paper.