Brexit - Construction Products Regulation
During 2020, the UK will continue to follow EU rules and the EU will continue to treat the UK as if it were a member state. This is known as the transition period, which is due to end on 31 December 2020. There will be no immediate changes for citizens and businesses in their day-to-day dealings. Things will be different once the transition period is over. These months of transition allow time to plan and prepare.
In July 2020, the department sent a notice to all stakeholders to inform them of two recent communications from the European Commission about the end of the transition period:
- A notice to help national authorities, businesses and citizens prepare for the inevitable changes that will arise at the end of the transition period.
- A sector specific Brexit readiness notice in relation to industrial products.
The Government has published the outline of draft legislation to address the complex issues that could arise for citizens and businesses after the transition period ends. Among the issues addressed is surveillance of the construction products market (Head 21). The legislation is due before the Oireachtas in Autumn 2020.
For more information on the impact of Brexit and the end of the transition period on the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), read the section on the implications of Brexit during 2020 below.
What is the Construction Products Regulation?
The Construction Products Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 (CPR) is European Union (EU) legislation that sets out rules for the marketing of construction products in the EU. It is aimed at reducing technical barriers to trade and ensuring the free movement of certain construction products within the EU. You can read more about the CPR on our website.
Where a construction product covered by a harmonised standard is being placed on the EU market, the CPR requires the manufacturer to draw up a ‘declaration of performance’ (DoP) and affix a ‘CE’ marking to the product. The CPR also places additional obligations on manufacturers, importers, distributors and authorised representatives (where applicable).
Harmonised standards define the methods and the criteria for assessing performance of construction products and set out the degree of third party assessment required to enable manufacturers to draw up the DoP and affix the CE marking. Third party assessment may only be undertaken by ‘notified bodies’. ‘Notified bodies’ must be established in a member state and be designated by the member state’s ‘notifying authority’.
Implications of Brexit during 2020 (the transition period)
During the transition period:
Manufacturers, importers, distributors and authorised representatives must continue to comply with the CPR when placing construction products on the Irish/EU market.
UK ‘notified bodies’ continue to have the status of EU ‘notified bodies’; that is, they are able to perform conformity assessment tasks for the purposes of the CPR.
Irish ‘distributors’ of UK construction products have the same obligations under the CPR as they had before Brexit.
Builders, designers, specifiers, certifiers and construction professionals should prepare for possible impacts to supply chains when the transition period ends. They should examine their supply chains to ensure suitable construction products with appropriate documentation demonstrating compliance will be available after 2020. In the construction sector about 40% of trade is with the UK.
If you plan on trading with the UK in 2021 you will need a unique Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number. You can register for an EORI number through Revenue’s online services section.
From 01 January 2021 (or when the transition period ends)
Manufacturers, importers, distributors and authorised representatives need to ensure they comply with their obligations and responsibilities, as set out in the CPR.
Both authorised representatives and importers must be established in the EU-27.
Manufacturers, importers, distributors and authorised representatives will need to continue to take the necessary steps to ensure that they hold certificates under the responsibility of an EU-27 ‘notified body’ (that is, a ‘notified body’ registered in one of the remaining 27 EU countries.
For construction products currently reliant on a UK ‘notified body’, the manufacturers, importers, distributors or authorised representatives may need to either:
- arrange for a transfer of their files and the corresponding certificates from the UK ‘notified body’ (a ‘notified body’ registered in the UK) to an EU-27 ‘notified body’, or
- apply for a new certificate with an EU-27 ‘notified body’
Implications of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in relation to the Construction Product Regulation
The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, which forms part of the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK, applies from 01 January 2021. As a result, certain EU rules, in particular those in respect of goods, will continue to apply in Northern Ireland.
The EU Commission has published a range of notices on preparing for the end of the transition period, including a notice on industrial products. Those notices include guidance on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland where relevant.
The UK Government has also published guidance on implementation of the Protocol.
Here are some of the implications of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in relation to the Construction Product Regulation when the transition period ends:
- Construction products placed on the market in Northern Ireland have to comply with applicable EU legislation.
- A construction product manufactured in Northern Ireland, certified by an EU-27 Notified Body and shipped to the EU, is not an imported product for the purpose of labelling and identification of economic operators/‘responsible persons’.
- Importers, authorised representatives and other ‘responsible persons’ may be established in Northern Ireland.
- Certificates issued by a conformity assessment body in Great Britain are not valid in Northern Ireland or the EU. A Notified Body in Northern Ireland, however, can continue to certify products in certain circumstances.
- For non-harmonised construction products, the principle of mutual recognition in one Member State of goods lawfully marketed in another Member State will not apply in respect of goods lawfully marketed in Northern Ireland. This means that the lawful placing of a construction product on the market of Northern Ireland cannot be invoked when that product is placed on the market in the EU. However, the lawful marketing of a construction product in a Member State can be invoked when that product is placed on the market in Northern Ireland.
You can read all the applicable rules
What to look for on the CE marking of a construction product
Accessible version of graphic on what to look for on the CE marking of a construction product
Support and guidance
If in doubt, operators should consider taking professional advice about how their obligations may change after the transition period ends.
Notifying Authority - Department of Housing Planning and Local Government
The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) is responsible for building standards policy and regulation, including implementation of the CPR. The DHPLG is also the ‘notifying authority’ for construction products that are covered by the CPR. A ‘notifying authority’ is responsible for implementing the necessary procedures for the assessment, notification and monitoring of ‘notified bodies’. A ‘notified body’ is a body that is designated to carry out certain conformity assessment procedures referred to in the applicable EU legislation. You can read more about the notification procedure on our website.