Construction Products Regulation
Marketing construction products in the EU
Construction Products RegulationThe Construction Products Regulation (CPR) lays down harmonized rules for the marketing of construction products in the EU. With new rules being implemented by the European Commission (EC), construction products – including cabling for fixed installations–can no longer be used in European buildings or civil engineering works if they are not tested and certified according to the new CPR rules.
Replacing the Construction Products Directive (CPD), which was first published by the EC in 1989, CPR became applicable for non-cable products in July 2013 and officially came into force for fixed installation cable products in June 2016. The 12-month grace period ended 1st July 2017. Now all CPR applicable cable products sold must be tested and Certified to the new CPR rules.
All CPR applicable products will require Euroclass rating, CE marking and a Declaration of Performance.
Find out more in this CPR Mini Guide.
According to CPR, Cables will be assessed based on their performance and safety during fire situations. Analyzed in a simulated installation, measurements of flame spread, heat release, flaming droplets, smoke emission and corrosivity of gases are taken. Based on the cable’s performance, it is placed into the Euroclass system that indicates its behavior during a fire, as well as its ability to operate despite a fire. The Euroclass program provides rankings based on the following criteria:
- Contribution to expanding a fire (rating from 'no contribution' to 'high contribution' with several levels in between)
- Smoke production development (rating from 'limited production' to 'strong production')
- Burning falling particles/droplets (rating from 'no droplets' to 'high droplets')
- Class corrosiveness/acidity of combustion gases (ranging from 'low corrosiveness' to 'high corrosiveness')
Frequently Asked Questions
CPR ensures that distributors, consultants, systems integrators, installers and building owners have reliable product information from different manufacturers in different countries to make accurate product comparisons. This will allow for free movement of all construction products within the European Union.
Euroclasses are uniform assessment methods or classifications reflecting real-life environments for building products based on reaction-to-fire performance.
The Euroclass Table (refer to Euroclass Product Criteria table) defines seven classes for the fire performance of cables. Heat release and flame spread are the main classification criteria. Smoke production, flame droplets and acidity are additional classification criteria.
Euroclass Eca has been defined with reference to IEC/EN 60332-1-2. For other classes, there is no direct relationship between existing IEC test and CPR. Basic structure of the testing rig is the same however, given different mounting requirements and the use of new parameters, test results are not comparable.
As of July 1, 2017 the use of IEC standards on CPR applicable cables is prohibited.
Based on the CPR framework, the actual performance level required for any particular regulated application is a national matter.
The basis for country-level CPR decisions can include fire risk, ease of escape (in the event of fire) or exposed cable surface area.
- Determination of product-type
- Manufacturer factory production control (FPC), including product assessment
The manufacturer shall always retain overall control and shall have the necessary means to take responsibility for the conformity of the product with declared performance.
Prior to placing a product on the market, there are certain rules that manufacturers must follow.
Manufacturers must make a Declaration of Conformity/Performance stating the Euroclass performance for the specific product. This is followed by affixing the CE marking and retaining all related documentation for a period of 10 years.
Depending on a product's Euroclass, manufacturers may also be required to monitor the product (including sample testing as per additional AVCP requirements). Furthermore, manufacturers must ensure the product classification is easily identifiable, provide contact information and safety instructions/information in appropriate languages. Manufacturers must also take corrective measures when necessary, and cooperate with requests from authorities.
When working with the project team to draw up specifications, end-users should refer to the harmonized technical specifications (specifically to the requirements of individual characteristics).
When choosing products for construction projects, end-users should review the Declaration of Conformity/Performance from the manufacturer. They must also check national annexes or standard recommendations, which offer guidance about appropriate minimum product performance levels. Compliance with local building regulations should also be followed by end-users.
Integrators have several responsibilities similar to those of end-users.
They should refer to the harmonized technical specifications (specifically to the requirements of individual characteristics) when drawing up project specifications. When selecting products for use in European buildings, integrators should be sure to review the manufacturer’s Declaration of Conformity/Performance. They must also check national annexes or standard recommendations for guidance on appropriate minimum product performance levels. Compliance with local building regulations should also be ensured.
Importers must follow several steps to comply with CPR standards.
They must verify manufacturers have met all CPR requirements, including additional requirements as determined by the AVCP rules. Additionally, importers should ensure their name and contact details are visible on the product, product labeling or related product documentation. Product instructions and safety information must also be in the appropriate language for the market.
When stored or moved, products must not be altered to void compliance. As long as the product is on the market, it should be monitored. Documentation should be retained for a period of 10 years by importers. Importers must take corrective measures when necessary, and cooperate with any requests from authorities.
As part of an integrated project team, distributors must ensure that product is compliant and has all documentation to verify CPR compliance.
All instructions and safety information must be in the appropriate language of the market. Distributors should check to see that the manufacturer has made the product identifiable and the manufacturer’s/importer’s contact details are visible. If products are stored or moved by the distributor, it must be done in compliance with CPR requirements and products should not be altered.
Distributors must take corrective measures when necessary, and cooperate with any requests from authorities. When a distributor places a product on the market under its own trade name—or modifies a product in any way—the distributor is considered to be the manufacturer.
Previously, many countries maintained their own national fire regulations making the movement of products across Europe challenging.
National laws containing essential product requirements were not harmonized. The introduction of CPR standards have changed this as the rules are applied without differences of interpretation by each member state.
A Notified Body is an independent, third-party entity recognized by the European Union. CPR includes three types of Notified Bodies—
- Product Certification
- Factory Production Control Certification
- Product Testing Laboratory
Resistance to fire, however, describes a cable’s ability to continue operating as normal during a fire situation. How long can the cable function adequately in a fire?
Belden has made significant investments to ensure relevant cable products comply with CPR rules. Our cross-functional team of research and development, product management, production, quality and purchasing experts has ensured all of relevant cables are tested, applicable CPR performance levels are identified and third-party approvals are obtained from notified bodies.
Declarations of Conformity/Performance and CE markings are then made available. Aligned with AVCP requirements, Belden demonstrates compliance to CPR, the Euroclass performance as declared by the Declaration of Performance (DoP) and has established the necessary means to take responsibility for the conformity of the product with its declared performance.
Declaration of Performance
The Declaration of Performance (DoP) expresses the Euroclass performance of cables. It defines the product, its intended use and its essential characteristics. A Declaration of Performance requires the manufacturer, importer or distributor to assume legal responsibility for the conformity of the construction product with its declared performance.
You can generate DoP certifications via the Belden Online Euroclass Checker & DoP Generator.
Belden has made significant efforts to ensure our cabling products comply with necessary CPR requirements. With investments in state-of-the-art equipment and dedicated resources, we have established an internal testing facility where we measure cabling product reaction to fire tests as per EN 50399 standards. Following a demanding test schedule, Belden cables are tested and certified to meet CPR standards including:
- Heat release
- Flame spread
- Smoke production
- Flaming droplets
Back-office preparations were also made to efficiently serve customers and respond to CPR requests including:
- Euroclass Checking & DoP Generator
- Labeling, CE markings & cable printing
- Part numbers & pricing
- CPR Resources
CPR Facility Audits & Processes
There is more to CPR testing that building the test apparatus and testing the cable. A number of additional actions must be performed. There are four audits in total:
- The manufacturing plant
- People & technical
- Sample picking & witnessing
Verifying Consistency of Performance—Plant Audits
For manufacturing plants producing products in the AVCP 1+ system (Euroclass B1, B2 & C), a bi-annual plant audit is required. These audits focus mainly on the measures the manufacturer has in place to guarantee the constancy of the product's quality. Belden’s plants routinely pass these audits without issue, after testing from a CPR Notified Certification Body.
A CPR Notified Certification Body also completed the 'System Audit' on Belden processes. This audit focuses on the administrative processes of the testing procedure. During the audit, quality control procedures as well as testing system processes are checked and audited. The testing system process includes auditor review of how samples are collected, stored and conditioned. For example, samples should be clearly identifiable and stored in an orderly (not random) manner. Sample traceability is also audited to verify a manufacturer can verify reel source (e.g, who produced it & if any defect(s) were registered during manufacturing). .
A staffing audit of those within Belden Test labs is also carried out. Two tests are currently being done for CPR—NEN-EN-IEC 60332-1-2 and NEN-EN 50399. During this audit, the auditor checks to confirm that individuals performing tests are completely independent (not managed or influenced) by those responsible for the manufacturing of the cables.
Belden has also undergone a technical audit focused on our testing apparatus. Testing equipment is thoroughly checked for compliance with the appropriate standard—from the geometry of the test chamber to the calibration data and certification of individual components. This is a full-day audit carried out by a CPR Notified Lab.
Before a test is done on the bigger NEN-EN 50399 test apparatus the sample must be picked by a Notified Certification Body. This means a 'witness' from a Notified Certification Body selects the reel containing the material to be tested by by placing a sticker on it. This sticker is numbered and this number corresponds with one reel. Using this number, the Notified Certification Body can trace back a test to a certain reel, to affirm that the correct cable was tested and keeps a database of all picked samples.
To ensure correct testing, each test must be witnessed by either a Notified Certification Body or a Notified Laboratory. All products in the AVCP 1+ system are witnessed by a Notified Certification Body and all other products are tested under the watchful eye of a Notified Laboratory.