Source:European Council - Council of the European Union
The Council and the European Parliament today reached a provisional agreement on the construction products regulation (CPR), that will speed up the green and digital transitions in the building sector. The regulation lays down harmonised EU rules for construction products and will remove obstacles to their free movement in the market, reduces administrative burden (through digital solutions) and ensures these products are in line with circular economy principles and new construction technologies.
The provisional agreement takes into account the development of technologies, provides for the creation of a construction products digital passport and sets out the empowerment for future procedures for green public procurement of construction products.
The political agreement reached today will equip constructors to be key actors of the green and digital transitions. Construction products of the future will require the extraction of fewer resources and generate less pollution and less waste, so buildings will not only shelter us from extreme climate conditions but also help fight climate change.
Jordi Hereu i Boher, Spanish Minister for Industry and Tourism.
Main elements of the agreement
The provisional agreement reached today between the two co-legislators adjusts the scope of the regulation, and clarifies the following points:
Fixing the problems standardisation system
On the standardisation procedure, the co-legislators agreed to maintain the implementing acts. The new the standards will be legally obligatory. In order to address the long-lasting delays in the standardisation process and to increase Commission possibilities to act in case there is a problem, Council and Parliament agreed a fallback solution, where, under specific conditions, the Commission can adopt harmonised technical specifications on its own, via implementing acts.
Digital passport for construction products
The provisional agreement provides for the creation of a construction products digital passport system, similar to those proposed in the ecodesign regulation. The Commission will be empowered to define the functionalities and requirements of this product passport system by means of delegated acts.
Green public procurement
According to the compromise text, the Commission will be empowered to establish mandatory minimum environmental sustainability requirements through delegated acts for public procurement of construction products, to incentivise supply of and demand for environmentally sustainable products. These rules can apply to every contract that contains construction products, including contracts for construction works, where Member States want to introduce environmental requirements for these products.
The provisional agreement also gives the Member States the possibility to deviate from the environmental requirements in cases where applying them would result in low market offer for the required construction product, where there would be no suitable tenders and in cases where they result in disproportionate costs causing the Member State to spend more than 10% in comparison to the scenario where no requirements would apply.
Repeal of the existing regulation
The provisional agreement proposes a period of transition from the old legal framework to the new one that will last 15 years from the date of entry into force of the new regulation (until 2039). This will ensure there is sufficient time to have an orderly transition and proper migration of harmonised technical specifications from the old legal framework to the new one, and to minimise the risk of de-harmonisation of any product group or family.
Entry into force
The Articles of the regulation related to the development of standards will be applicable at the date of entry into force. For all the other Articles, with the exception of Article 90 on penalties, they will apply 12 months from the date of entry into force. Application of Article 90 will be at 24 months from the date of entry into force.
The provisional agreement reached with the European Parliament now needs to be endorsed and formally adopted by both institutions.
The construction ecosystem represents almost 5.5% of the EU’s GDP and employs around 25 million people in over 5 million firms. The construction products industry comprises 430 000 companies in the EU, with a total turnover of €800 billion. These are mainly small and medium-sized enterprises. They are a key economic and social asset for local communities in European regions and cities.
Buildings are responsible for around 50% of resource extraction and consumption and more than 30% of the EU’s total waste each year. In addition, buildings are responsible for 40% of the EU’s energy consumption and 36% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.
The new regulation on Construction products updates the existing legislation in this field, which dates from 2011. The revision of the construction products regulation is part of the package of measures that the Commission presented on 30 March 2022, together with the ecodesign regulation and the EU strategy for sustainable and circular textiles. These measures are part of the European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan.