For more than a decade, the European Wire & Cable Industry, collaborating within Europacable, has worked with the European Commission and Member States towards the inclusion of power, control and communication cables in the CPR. One of the Europacable’s strong convictions is that Low Fire-Hazard cables can considerably increase the level of safety in case of fire. As a first stage, on 10th June 2016 the European Commission listed the relevant Harmonized Standard covering reaction to fire performance in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Following the transition period, ended 1st July 2017, the Construction Products Regulation covers all cables intended to be incorporated in construction works (permanent installations) in both buildings and civil engineering. All manufacturers, distributors, importers, and installers must comply with the new regulation. National standards and operators’ obligatory specifications potentially conflicting with the CPR have to be amended adopting Euroclasses to express fire performance requirements for the different construction applications. New and existing specifications will adopt the new Euroclasses defining the performances of cables to be installed.
A Common Language
With the introduction of the Euroclasses, the CPR provides a common language to all construction professionals for assessing and classifying different levels of fire performance of cables. The Euroclasses specify the requirements for reaction to fire and form the common basis for Member States to regulate local markets. The requirements are assessed against a sophisticated large scale test and are a prerequisite to placing products on the market. From now on, cables are certified by Notified Bodies based on independent tests, which provide a legal framework for market surveillance by European and national authorities. As a legal prerequisite for placing cable products on the EU market and as a passport for their circulation within the European Union, the CPR introduces the mandatory usage of the CE-marking of cables and their Declaration of Performance.
The CPR provides transparency & increased safety
The key elements of the CPR providing market transparency and increased safety are:
- the adoption of CPR Euroclasses into the national installation laws, wiring regulations, fire safety regulations and into voluntary and/or customer specific standards
- one harmonized assessment and classification of performances for every product for construction or civil engineering applications put on the European Union market (produced in the EU or outside the EU)
- 3rd party testing and certification of constancy of performances by Notified Bodies and Notified Testing Laboratories
- market surveillance by National Authorities aimed at preventing any circulation and installation of non-compliant products as well as wrong usage of cables for different applications
- a legal means to prosecute dangerous practices and to withdraw non-compliant products from the market, including introduction of a product blacklist within the European Union.
Europacable Members have signed the Europacable Industry Charter and are committed to compliance with the applicable legal framework of the CPR for cables.
For interested parties, Europacable provides a FAQ on the CPR for cables.
* DISCLAIMER This document reflects the best knowledge of industry experts across Europe and the state of the art at the time of writing (January 2017). It represents our best understanding of the CPR. It is not a legally binding document and is not intended as a substitute for each stakeholder’s own assessment and decision making. A binding interpretation of Community legislation remains the exclusive competence of the European Court of Justice. Europacable declines any and all liability for any measure taken or not taken on the basis of this document, which is a private non-binding information document to be possibly used and accommodated by National Associations to prepare their own national documents. © 2017 Europacable – All rights reserved.