The repeal of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) – the harmonised rules for the marketing of construction products in the EU – is not being supported by FIEC (the European Construction Industry Federation), but it said it did support the proposed revision of the Regulation.
Pending this revision, FIEC considers that the present CPR should be interpreted with flexibility “ensuring that the deliverables of the Regulation are compatible with the needs of construction sector stakeholders”.
FIEC said it thought that in the long run, a European market for construction products must be achieved, but that this would take many years.
It felt that in the meantime, it was important that flexible procedures should apply, permitting the sector to adapt gradually. It said the CPR was one of the means to work towards that goal, but in addition to the CPR, many other factors contributed to achieving the European market for construction products.
It said it was crucial that the CPR should not be considered in isolation.
FIEC first vice president Kjetil Tonning said, “In spite of the problems experienced by contractors since the CPR came into effect, repealing it now would be counter-productive.
“Although FIEC has highlighted the various problems encountered over the last four years, we have also explained that poor implementation, and unintended and incorrect interpretation have been at the root of these problems.”
Tonning added, “We think that constructive dialogue with the European Commission, Member States, the other industry stakeholders and standards organisations can lead to a limited number of targeted revisions, which could make the Regulation work effectively.”
In calling for flexibility in the meantime, FIEC said that measures were necessary to facilitate and speed up administrative actions, such as the processing of mandates and delegated acts.
It said timely publication of standards in the Official Journal was essential to avoid a system breakdown.
Procedures must be simplified, it said, adding that given the common goal, it was extremely important that the European Commission, the Member States and industry stakeholders tried to understand the needs of all parties and accepted interim solutions – such as additional marks on products when and where necessary – until the Regulation could be deemed to provide legal certainty for the industry, and safe buildings and infrastructure for European citizens, which are not harmful to the environment.
“The revised CPR should more effectively fit into the wider environment within which construction works are designed, procured, executed, used, maintained, renovated and demolished,” said FIEC.
It said that given the huge number of stakeholders involved, it was imperative that a sufficiently long transition period was allowed for any revision, ensuring that information and guidance were available before regulatory requirements were applied.