New Rules on Labelling of Hazardous Substances in Construction Products

Building materials containing hazardous substances will have to be clearly labelled to protect the health and safety of building workers and other users, under a new regulation on the EU-wide sale of construction products recently approved by the European Parliament following an agreement reached with Council.

Following pressure from MEPs, the ‘declaration of performance’ required for every construction product under the new rules will have to include information on hazardous substances, as required by the 2006 REACH Regulation, so as to meet health and safety standards and make the contents clear to all users.

The Commission is asked to draw up a report on the information needed on these substances, taking account of requirements for recycling or re-use. If appropriate it will follow up the report with new draft legislation.

Micro-companies will be able opt for new, simplified performance assessment procedures for their products, provided these goods still comply with EU harmonised standards.

Member States must also designate Product Contact Points to provide information on construction products and their uses free of charge. To avoid conflicts of interest, Product Contact Points are to be impartial with regard to the process of obtaining CE-marking.

Construction products manufactured in a traditional manner or in a manner appropriate to heritage conservation and in a non-industrial process may be exempted from the ‘declaration of performance’ rule.

Other amendments to the legislation accepted by the Council deal with environmental protection, the recycling of construction products and the need to take account of health and safety throughout the life cycle of the construction product when assessing its performance.

The regulation will formally enter into force 20 days after its publication in the EU Official Journal. However, many of its provisions will apply only as from 1st July 2013, to allow companies time to adjust.

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