INFORMATION ABOUT THE CPR (CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS REGULATION)
1. WHAT IS THE CPR?
The CPR (Construction Products Regulation) is a new regulation (No. 305/2011) which was published in March 2011 by the European Parliament. This regulation establishes harmonised conditions for all of the EU relating to the marketing of building products. This regulation overrides Directive 89/106/CEE.
This regulation (it is not just for electric cables), came into effect in July 2013, through the CPR to be fully applicable in all Member States of the EU.
2. SCOPE OF THE CPR
In the case of cables, whose standard application is developed in EN 50575, CPR affects only those power cables, telecommunications, data and control, to be incorporated in construction works permanently, whether buildings or works civil engineering. They are excluded those cables for connecting devices such us cables in the automotive sector, electrical cables, etc, in the same way, lift cables and those manufactured for a specific process are not included.
The benefits of the cables which will be regulated by the CPR are:
Reaction to fire:
Contribution of a cable (by decomposition of the component materials during a fire) to the spread of it.
Fire resistance (to define the standard test):
Ability of a cable to maintain its performance under fire condition.
Emissions of hazardous substances..
3. WHEN SHOULD THE CPR BE APPLIED?
The CPR for cables could already have been applied since 01/07/2016, the date that the Official Journal of the European Union mentioned regulation EN 50575. Nevertheless, for the cable sector, at that time they had not specified the cables affected by the CPR, therefore a transitional period of one year was established.
Until the effective date and full implementation of the CPR (01/07/2017), the same cables as before (not covered by the CPR) can be marketed and installed without any problems.
It will not be possible to apply this Regulation if there is no relevant legislation, such as electric Regulations, building standards or user/manufacturer requirements. The timeline is as follows:
Regarding full implementation of the CPR, the explanatory note published by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness on 03/04/2017 must be taken into account. This note indicates that the warehouses and distributors that have non-CPR cables in stock that were purchased before 01/07/2017 can market them until this stock runs out.
There are currently lots of cables awaiting a decision on whether the CPR applies to them or not, or rather they are waiting for standard classification (Performance) relating to fire safety conditions. At present, on a regulatory level and applying the relevant Regulation, energy cables (low and medium tension) are being classified first followed by IT cables (common telecommunications infrastructures Regulation).
4. WHO DEFINES WHETHER CABLES ARE AFFECTED BY THE CPR OR NOT?
As we have said, the CPR is an EU regulation and therefore each member state must legislate in order to comply with it. In Spain the competent body for applying the CPR is the Ministry of Industry, which has other advisory bodies such as Facel (Spanish association of manufacturers of cables and fibre-optic electric conductors), therefore in Spain cables affected by the CPR will be those that are stated in any installation regulation. In other countries the requirements can be and in fact are different, unfortunately rather than unifying and harmonising this regulation allows exactly the opposite.
5. WHAT HAPPENS TO CABLES THAT ARE NOT STANDARDISED?
In theory cables that are not standardised and therefore have no applicable requirements will not be considered within the CPR. This means that a cable intended for permanent installation in a construction must be standardised, although as we have already mentioned clients and users can also request CPR classifications for other cables.
6. OBLIGATION TO SORT THE CABLES IN Euroclasses: CE MARKING AND DECLARATION OF PERFORMANCE
In the future, in accordance with the rules of harmonized product before placing a product on the market, manufacturers are legally required to develop a DOP (Declaration of performance) identifying the product, its intended use and behavioral characteristics before the fire. It should be involved in this process both notified certification bodies and laboratories test certificates.
Products entering the market must display the CE mark and the type of benefit on cable, (The CE mark will not be applied to the cable), on its packaging, its label or any combination thereof.
As can be seen, most new obligations fall on manufacturers, although distributors and end users will also have an important role since they should take appropriate measures to ensure the distribution and use of products conforming to the CPR.
7. STATUS OF ASCABLE-RECAEL, S.A. REGARDING THE CPR.
At present, ASCABLE-RECAEL, S.A. is in the process of classifying the cables already defined by specific applicable standards or other requirements. Cables already classified within the CPR are identified on our website, www.ascable-recael.com.