From today (1 July) it is now mandatory for construction products to be tested against harmonised technical standards known as European product standards (hENs) or European Technical Assessments (ETAs).

Products sold in the EU will need a Declaration of Performance (DoP) to confirm compliance with those standards. Construction products must also be CE marked.

Distributors as well as manufacturers and importers have responsibility for DoPs and CE marking, says Richard Palmi at law firm Wragge & Co. “The Construction Product Regulations (CPR) place onerous obligations on manufacturers of construction products.

Obligations are also placed on importers and distributors of those products and various enforcement authorities. Anyone involved in the construction products market should be aware of the new regime and their potential obligations,” he said.

Mr Palmi is offering the following checklist of distributors' obligations:

  • When placing construction products on the market, distributors must act with due care regarding the requirements of the CPR
  • Ensure construction products bear CE marking and are accompanied by required documentation before placing those products on the market
  • Ensure construction products are accompanied by instructions and safety information
  • Ensure the manufacturer and importer have marked the construction product with their name and contact address so they can be contacted if necessary
  • Inform the manufacturer/importer and the national authority if you believe the construction product does not conform to the DoP or is otherwise unsafe
  • Co-operate with the national authority in any investigation.

Construction products are widely defined and refer to any product or kit which is placed on the market and is intended for permanent incorporation in construction works. The CPR may not apply to bespoke products or products manufactured onsite. They also may not apply to products manufactured using traditional techniques where necessary for conservation or heritage purposes.