Construction Products Regulation 2011 (CPR)
The Regulation came into force on the 1st of January 2021 and imposes legal obligations on importers and distributors to participate in ensuring the compliance of the construction products they trade in. Importers and distributors need to adopt a ‘chain of custody’ approach to ensure the relevant supporting documents are able to be transferred from the manufacturer to the end user. Furthermore, where a distributor places a product on the market under their own label, they will be treated in many respects as the manufacturer.
The regulation states that some products may be exempt these are:
• Custom made products for a specific order, if installed by the manufacturer.
• Products manufactured on site.
• Products for use in traditional, heritage conservation projects.
The Regulation also clarifies the area of enforcement. In the UK, Trading Standards are the enforcing authority who are empowered to restrict or remove non-compliant products from the market. The regulation intends to reduce the financial burden of compliance for small manufacturers. As such, micro-enterprises are allowed to use specific simplified procedures to demonstrate their compliance, so long as they can be demonstrated to be equivalent. In order to provide better access to information about the Regulation, there is a ‘product contact point’ providing independent free advice, particularly to small enterprises.
Compliance with the Regulation
The Regulation requires that products which are to be incorporated into constructions are adequately specified to ensure the satisfactory performance of the structure itself. In practice, this means that a series of product specifications have to be produced so that manufacturers have proper targets to determine their products’ performance.
The Regulation permits two methods of compliance:
• UK Standards.
• Technical Assessments
Note UK marking is only mandatory, where a designated standard is available against which to declare the performance of the product. Where there is no designated standard, the manufacturer may choose to demonstrate compliance via Technical Assessment.
The Construction Products Regulation 2011 itself does not define the required verification procedure for any particular product or group of products. Instead, a large number of Decisions have followed which essentially determine whether the manufacturer can self-certify their products or the involvement of an independent body (an “approved body”) is required. There are 5 levels of verification which define whether the manufacturer or approved body are responsible for various tasks.
The objective is to create standards for every construction product ‘permanently incorporated in the works’. So far, over 400 have been recognised and their reference has been published, many more are in progress or planned. A list of the Standards can be found on the UK Government website.
The information relevant to UKCA marking and declaration is always found in Annex ZA of each standard.
For specific information on Structural Steelwork please refer to EN 1090 Structural steelwork.
The Regulation continues to allow the development of TAs, which are specifications pertaining to a particular manufacturer and product type, particularly useful for innovative products or kits. The relevant issuing bodies are known as Technical Assessment Bodies (TABs). In order to draft a Technical Assessment, first an Assessment Document must be created, in response to a request by a manufacturer. This effectively sets out a consistent method of assessment agreed by all.
This route, although voluntary, has proved very popular. Under the Regulation a new body for the co-ordination of Technical Assessment Bodies will be formed.
Factory Production Control Requirements
In addition to declaring technical performance against the basic works requirements and in order to comply with the Construction Products Regulation 2011, products must meet certain factory production control requirements. The manufacturer must be able to demonstrate that their production methods will result in consistent product that continues to match the declared performance.
Declaration and marking
The manufacturer’s ‘declaration of performance’ must contain actual performance data in relation to the essential characteristics. This is the most important legal document in relation to the product. This must be ‘made available’ to the end user and the Construction Products Regulation 2011 allows for this to be by electronic means, for example by posting on a website. Additionally, some information must be marked on the product and/or its packaging.
There are a number of useful resources on the CPR on the internet. In particular:
The UK product contact point provides information on the CPR as required by the Regulation.
As with all UKCA marking regulations, the actual requirements for any product under the regulations are complex and dependent on not only the product but also, the intended function within the construction. Product Declarations must support any claims made, or implied by commercial literature.
Services that we offer as an Approved Body
• Product Compliance Gap analysis
CEM as experts in the arena of UKCA marking are best placed to be able to analyse product and determine in what areas it may need to be improved in order to meet the regulations.
• Factory Production Control Assessment
CEM are able to conduct factory production control assessments to determine that the measures in place are sufficient to ensure that all production complies with the standards applicable.
• Testing Service
If required, CEM will arrange for equipment to be tested to ensure that it conforms to the requirements of the construction product regulations.
For further information specific to your products, please contact us at CEM and we will be pleased to discuss your needs.
Download our Construction Products Regulation flyer
Download our EN1090 flyer
CEM International are an Approved Body for the Construction Products Regulation and can provide assistance with certification.