EC proposes to harmonize standards for construction products

Retail

The European Commission proposed on Monday to harmonize standards for construction products throughout the European Union for the sake of cutting red tape for businesses.

The proposal “would facilitate free movement of goods by creating a common technical language for manufacturers to express the performances and characteristics of the products they place on the European market,” the EU’s executive arm said in a statement.

The harmonized standards would replace the corresponding national technical specifications and increase market transparency to the benefit of users, such as designers, builders, contractors and other actors. It was aimed to ensure reliable and accurate information on the performance of construction products, by increasing the credibility of standards, introducing new and stricter criteria for notified bodies and strengthening market surveillance. “With this proposal we are continuing the drive to modernize EU legislation and cut unnecessary red-tape and over-regulation,” said Commission Vice President Gunter Verheugen, who is responsible for Enterprise and Industry policy, “My aim is to make life easier for industry and in particular for small enterprises.” The commission hoped its proposal could remove all remaining regulatory and technical obstacles to the free circulation of construction products in the EU.

With 15% of EU manufacturing added value, only 5% of intra-EU trade, the construction sector is less open than other sectors of manufactured goods. The construction sector as a whole represents more than 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP) within the EU.

Being the biggest industrial employer in Europe, it involves more than 15 million employees and 2.7 million enterprises. Construction products, including more than 40 ranges of products such as doors, thermal insulating products, cement, roofing products or bricks, account for more than 5 million employees and contribute more than 3% of EU GDP, according to the commission. (people.com.cn)

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