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Contingent derogation for small producers of traditional products on the Construction Products Regulation (CPR)

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The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) is implemented in EC countries on 1st July 2013. It seems that the involvement of bureaucracy is so aggravating that the whole process is more likely applicable for larger producers. Whereas great
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    10 th  ANNIVERSARY INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “STANDARDISATION AND RELATED ACTIVITIES –    A MEANS OF INTERNATIONAL AND BALKAN COLLABORATION”  Sozopol-BULGARIA-2013 277 CONTINGENT DEROGATION FOR SMALL PRODUCERS OF TRADITIONAL PRODUCTS ON THE CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS REGULATION (CPR) Georgia Zacharopoulou, Mouson 89, 54634 Thessaloniki, Greece, e-mail: gzachar.heritage@gmail.com ABSTRACT The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) is implemented in EC countries on 1st July 2013. It seems that the involvement of bureaucracy is so aggravating that the whole process is more likely applicable for larger producers. Whereas great complications for small and medium-sized producers (SMEs) of traditional products have been expected, an exemption for them has been predicted. Under CPR Article 5, clause c, small producers can claim derogation from this confusion whether “ the construction product is manufactured in a traditional manner or in a manner appropriate to heritage conservation and in a nonindustrial process for adequately renovating construction works officially protected as part of a designated environment or because of their special architectural or historic merit, in compliance with the applicable national rules”. The obligation to ensure that the product meets other regulations, such as REACH, is always valid. REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances) Regulation (EC 1907/2006) places greater responsibility on industry to provide safety information on the substances and to register the information in a central database run by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Therefore, there is a great challenge for the SMEs following a traditional productive chain to claim derogation and/or to prove the supremacy of several traditional materials from natural resources in safe use. The development of a cross-industry system, with a focus on SMEs, that may elaborate challenging alternative best practices and strategies, so as local raw materials, specific craftsmanship, techniques and know how in traditional materials production become gradually competitive in construction, on the stable grounds of a sustainable development (small scale production, product quality, safe use, research innovation, product differentiation, authenticity and distinctiveness, standardization).  As expected, the user will make the final judgment on the Quality of a product. Key words : Regulation, construction product, standardization, derogation, heritage conservation INTRODUCTION The transitional period from the "old" Construction Products Directive  ( CPD) (EU) No 89/106/EEC [1] to the "new" Construction Products Regulation (CPR) (EU) No 305/2011 [2] is ended on 1st July 2013. The general principles and main tools of the CPD have not changed in the CPR; however, it aims to clarify the basic concepts and the use of CE marking by introducing more precise terminology, and stricter and more transparent procedures for the marketing of construction products. CPR‟s  objective is to simplify the procedures, to reduce the costs incurred by enterprises -in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)- and eventually to increase credibility for the whole system [3]. Whereas CPD remains in application, the CPR has already entered into force; the main parts of its substantial Articles, though, shall apply first from 1 July 2013. The CPR definitely repeals the CPD after this date. Summarizing, CPR is implemented in two phases a) the preparation phase (from 9 March 2011 till 30 June 2013), aiming at establishing the organizational framework and preparing technical framework documents and b) the operation phase (starting on 1 July 2013 ), where CPD‟s previous requirement for a Declaration of Conformity (DoC) has been replaced by a requirement for a Declaration of Performance (DoP) by manufacturers and CE marking under the CPR. The already applicable parts of the CPR focus on the notification and designation processes of the Notified Bodies (NB) and the Technical Assessment Bodies (TAB).   Therefore, the transitional arrangements anticipate no obligation to conform to CPR provisions before1st July 2013. In the meantime, the Construction Products placed on the market in    10 th  ANNIVERSARY INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “STANDARDISATION AND RELATED ACTIVITIES –    A MEANS OF INTERNATIONAL AND BALKAN COLLABORATION”  Sozopol-BULGARIA-2013 278 accordance with the CPD are considered in compliance with the Regulation. The manufacturer will have to draw up a DoP when a product is placed on the market, either covered by a harmonised standard (hEN) or by a European Technical Assessment (ETA). All the previous are comprehensively summarized in Table 1. Table 1 Transition from the Construction Products Directive (CPD) to the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) (source http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/construction/legislation/transition) Construction Products Directive (CPD)   Construction Products Regulation (CPR)   Simplified procedures (CPR chapter VI)   Non-existent under the CPD    using existing data/test results to reduce the amount of necessary testing; (e.g. "Without Testing/Without Further Testing", "Cascading testing", "Shared Initial Type Testing")    specific approach for micro-enterprises Declaration of Performance (DoP)   Non-existent under the CPD Compulsory when harmonised European standard (hEN) exists Harmonised European standards (hEN)   Intended use assumed in harmonised standards but not explicitly declared Declaring intended use in DoP is obligatory European Technical Assessment Documents (Voluntary route for DoP)   ETA "approved" construction product for intended uses ETA assessed product - test results provided without "judgement" of fitness of use of product in ETA Obligations of economic actors (CPR Chapter III)   Indirect obligations Specific obligations for manufacturers, distributors and importers Product Contact Points (CPR Art. 10)   Non-existent under the CPD Member States shall give information on rules and regulations for construction products. These contact points have to be established by 1 July 2013. Notified bodies Notified by Member State authorities  Assessed by Member State authorities against specific criteria in the CPR Furthermore, if the construction product falls in the scope of other directives, the manufacturer should draw up a DoP for the CPR and a DoC for the other directive(s). The obligation to ensure that the product meets other regulations, such as REACH [4], is still applicable. REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances) Regulation (EC 1907/2006) places greater responsibility on industry to provide safety information on the substances and to register the information in a central database run by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). The Regulation also calls for the progressive substitution of the most dangerous chemicals when suitable alternatives have been identified. MAIN PRESENTATION The conservation of monuments of high historical and architectural value is restricted by philosophical, ethical and scientific criteria that have been elaborated in the last decades [5, 6]. This complex perceptive directly affects the intervention materials, design and application techniques. It is accepted that compatible and durable interventions on existing historic structures require interdisciplinary concern in order to ensure authenticity preservation, continuous function and reduced maintenance expenses. The key role in using local raw materials and know-how in restoration projects, with the aim both to enhance authenticity and to reduce intervention costs, is acknowledged [7, 8].  Although the efficiency of current restoration projects has gradually improved in terms of more demanding intervention techniques , and more carefully standardized materials‟ production , a higher potential risk is emerging for heritage‟s preservation  practice. A comparative study of    10 th  ANNIVERSARY INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “STANDARDISATION AND RELATED ACTIVITIES –    A MEANS OF INTERNATIONAL AND BALKAN COLLABORATION”  Sozopol-BULGARIA-2013 279 historical and current market research implies that many modern standardized building materials  –  harmonized to European standards (CE Mark Compliance) are gradually imported and seized Greek market due to "aggressive" marketing [8, 9]. During the last three decades, the main determinants of the high penetration of the imported products in Greece are a) the accession of the country to the European Union (1980), b) the removal of state protectionism and c) the increased competitiveness, leading to a substantial increase of imported goods in the country. During the last decade, the complexity of the standardization process has been emerged as the major reason for further shrinkage of local production. Structural problems of industry such as the small productive installations, the lack of economies of scale and the relative absence of capital-intensive sectors came to light [10]. It seems that it is not achievable to include all types of building materials used in Europe or to satisfy the specific needs of the conservation area, although more than 500 different standards on construction products have been developed such as for cement, building limes and other hydraulic binders, masonry and related products, masonry units, mortars, and ancillaries, aggregates, products related to concrete, mortar and grout etc. However, construction products of modern productive chains do not necessarily correspond to optimum quality in monuments‟ interventions, in terms of compatibility, durability and authenticity preservation [8, 9]. On the other hand, the Greek branches of the construction products‟ have  been considerably delayed in harmonizing to CPD and/or CPR. Certain Greek manufacturers have relied in importing standardized raw materials; after losing their global credibility, many of them have impeded their production. The figures clearly reflect the current depression in the construction industry due to the Greek debt crisis [10]. Taking into account that cost is a matter of great concern nowadays, the efficient use of standardized local materials may provide great potentials in reducing it [8]. Thus, the exploitation of local raw materials is highlighted as an urgent issue of concern, though the standardization process is deemed a severe obstacle to surpass [7, 8, 9]. For the specific needs of the conservation sector, traditional materials and techniques should remain alive and active in order to achieve a high level of compatibility and authenticity preservation. In Greece, most producers of construction products suitable for the conservation works -such as bricks, tiles, binders and aggregates historically used- are small to medium-sized enterprises. Those companies are usually private and family based, regional or local. Rarely, they may be vertically organized, integrated with quarrying operations. Among them, the brick branch is the more organized towards standardization. However, many of them are simply ignorant of the standardization obligatory sequence. Bearing in mind that the surveillance of the market concerning building materials is still underdeveloped, great implications to practitioners (manufacturers and trade associations, construction specifiers, conservators etc) are expected. It seems that the involvement of bureaucracy is so aggravating that the whole process is more likely applicable for larger producers and ominous for SMEs: inspections; certification and compulsory testing; besides documentation from Factory Production Control schemes, DoP being drafted and still to be approved by politicians, to CE certificates. In consequence a) a manufacturer may draw up a DoP based on the DoC issued before 1 July 2013, b) ETAs issued in accordance with the CPD before 1 July 2013 may be used as ETA throughout the period of validity (usually 5 years from the date of issue), c) those manufacturers who are in the ETA process before 1 July 2013 should contact their Technical Assessment Body for these specific cases. After 30.06.2013, in order to sell a construction product in the European Union (EU) the manufacturer has the obligation to issue a DoP and affix the CE marking a) if the product is covered by a hEN and the coexistence period has ended, and b) if a ETA has been issued for the product.  As already mentioned, where applicable, the DoP should be accompanied by information on hazardous substances in the construction product. The information should initially be limited to substances referenced in Articles 31 and 33 of the Regulation EC 1907/2006 (REACH) [4]. What are these substances and how should this information be given? According to Article 31, a Safety Data sheet is to be prepared by each supplier of substances or mixtures, where a) they are respectively considered as hazardous in accordance with Regulation (EC)1272/2008 and dangerous in accordance with Directive 1999/45/EC, b) the substance is persistent,    10 th  ANNIVERSARY INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “STANDARDISATION AND RELATED ACTIVITIES –    A MEANS OF INTERNATIONAL AND BALKAN COLLABORATION”  Sozopol-BULGARIA-2013 280 bioaccumulative and toxic or very persistent and very bioaccumulative, c) the substance is referred to in the candidate list of the REACH Regulation. The aim of REACH is to “ensure a high level of protection of h uman health and the environment ” [4]. In this frame, improvements of the REACH legislation have been proposed regarding the clarification of criteria, prioritization and waiving practices. The huge amount of the registered substances (145,000 substances after REACH went into force), though, makes it hard enough to design appropriate test requirements in a resource-efficient and scientifically reliable way. The substitution of high-risk chemicals with less risky alternatives is essential to develop an efficient process for identifying substances of very high concern and making the appropriate risk management decisions for these compounds. Nevertheless, a strategy for the risk management of chemicals is severely incomplete unless it tackles the distribution of harmful substances through the wide varieties of products in which they are used [11, 12]. Whereas great complications for small producers have been expected, a convenience for them has been predicted. Under CPR Article 5, clause c small producers can claim derogation from this complexity where: “the construction product is manufactur  ed in a traditional manner or in a manner appropriate to heritage conservation and in a nonindustrial process for adequately renovating construction works officially protected as part of a designated environment or because of their special architectural or historic merit, in compliance with the applicable national rules”.  As seen, the CPR addresses manufacturers and products placed on the market and only in the above mentioned article 5, the CPR addresses installation as well. If one of the derogations foreseen in Article 5 of the CPR is applicable, the manufacturer is entitled to refrain from drawing a DoP and affixing the CE marking. This is a decision to be taken by the manufacturer, who can issue a DoP and affix the CE marking even in these cases. It is estimated that around one third of construction products need not comply. It is apparent that it is a clear lack of direction for SMEs who are confused by the need to comply; for example, ready mixed concrete does not need to be CE marked but the components do. It seems that if there is a standard which clearly applies to a product then the producer must complete the DoP. If a producer thinks that should be complied but are unclear about which standard, or which testing methods apply, then the process and test methods which are reasonably relevant to the performance of the product should be documented, and then a DoP can be completed.  Accordingly it is suggested that ETAs and CE marking are very expensive and time-consuming without unnecessarily adding this to SMEs day-to-day challenges. Therefore, SMEs may take advantage on new ways of establishing fitness for purpose other than the EN route e.g. independent certificate schemes, own tests and calculations, sampling, past experience etc. However, specifiers tend to lean towards products that have been examined in some shape or form, so at any case early CE marking could be beneficial to sales. It does seem that early compliance would benefit manufactures, as specifiers will soon be looking for the CE mark, even though it may not relate to the quality of the manufactured goods.  A relevant comprehensive example is the EN 998-2:2003 standard which specifies requirements for factory made masonry mortars; bedding, jointing and pointing. Most times these composite products are manufactured on the construction site where they are to be incorporated -so as to achieve better compatibility with the authentic ones- or manufactured in a traditional manner or in a manner appropriate to heritage conservation of protected wor  ks/buildings. The author‟s experience in actual restoration projects is that ready -to-use standardized mortars are seldom holistically compatible to historic ones. They are also up to ten times overvalued than a site made mortar, manufactured from local raw materials under the restorer- engineer‟s responsibility. Site made mortars are covered by codes of application and national specifications. Though , materials‟ quality cannot be efficiently controlled (except cement) due to insufficient Greek market surveillance [9]. Regardless of whether the european standards are obligatory or not, it is clear that they co-shape the future of the construction products market in Greece and, indirectly, the future of the conservation of Greek cultural heritage [14]. Therefore, in the above mentioned circumstances where a DoP is not compulsory, relevant SMEs can claim derogation. It is obvious that the prerequisites of the paragraph 5(c) are directly related to the whole spectrum of the materials used in conservation works and the related production chains, as in most cases the use of    10 th  ANNIVERSARY INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE “STANDARDISATION AND RELATED ACTIVITIES –    A MEANS OF INTERNATIONAL AND BALKAN COLLABORATION”  Sozopol-BULGARIA-2013 281 traditional products meets better the necessary technical and ethical criteria. Those products are many times individually manufactured or custom-made (e.g. bricks and tiles), in a non-series process and in response to a specific order and installed in a single identified construction work by a manufacturer who is responsible for the safe incorporation of the product in the intervention. For centuries small producers have relied on establishing a local reputation for quality and gaining customers by word of mouth between craftsmen with little intervention by bureaucracy. In current globalized market , the “trust in people” approach instead of the “trust in numbers” one is evidently a matter of further research, especially by the heritage conservation sector. Taking into consideration that many already imported European construction products special for conservation interventions satisfy the CPD (and apparently the CPR) (Table 1), while Greek SMEs have not strictly responded, the alternatives towards feasible sustainable solutions are urgently needed. In this frame, Greek SMEs industries must take advantage of the paragraph 5(c) of the CPR. It is anticipated that combined conservation strategies on traditional production -in terms of interdisciplinary perspective and cooperation networks- will be considered. These brand new parameters in heritage conservation field, which obviously embrace modern ecological and economical issues, must be taken into account. The establishment of European cross-industry system, with a focus on SMEs, that may develop challenging alternative best practices and strategies, so as local raw materials, specific craftsmanship, techniques and know how in traditional materials production should be pointed out and gradually become competitive in construction, on the grounds of sustainable development (small scale production, authenticity and distinctiveness, product differentiation, product quality and safe use, research innovation, standardization) [8]. The investigation and implementation of sustainable Best Available Techniques (BAT) will potentially lead to technologically sound and economically viable solutions. A truthful support to „success stories‟ of traditional manufacture  of traditional products is imperative, for reasons of authenticity, sustainability and products quality and safe use. Closing , it is worth quoting Günter Verheugen, Member of the European Commission, Responsible for Enterprise and Industry. “ Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the engine of the European economy. They are an essential source of jobs, create entrepreneurial spirit and innovation in the EU and are thus crucial for fostering competitiveness and employment. The new SME definition, which entered into force on 1 January 2005, represents a major step towards an improved business environment for SMEs and aims at promoting entrepreneurship, investments and growth. This definition has been elaborated after broad consultations with the stakeholders involved which proves that listening to SMEs is a key towards the successful implem entation of the Lisbon goals‟ [4 , p. 3]. CONCLUSION Regardless of whether the European standards are obligatory or not, it is clear that they co-shape the future of the construction products market in Greece and, indirectly, the future of the conservation of Greek cultural heritage. The majority of the on-going Greek conservation projects are co-financed by the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) and this will continue for the programming period 2014-2020, as it constitutes a high priority for all in the current economic climate. In NSRF projects, however, Declaration of Performance (DoP) by manufacturers and CE marking under the Construction Products Regulation CPR (EU) No 305/2011 for the incorporated construction products are mandatory, starting on 1 July 2013. In this frame, Greek SMEs industries should take advantage of the paragraph 5(c) of the CPR. Further, by introducing derogation for on-site produced products, a CE marking obligation for private contractors installing prefabricated products is suggested. There is need for a clear distinction between placing a product on the market and producing elements for incorporation into one„s special  works without reducing the information provided on a product, as consistent information is essential for its correct identification and proper incorporation to site. Therefore, it is essential for SMEs to create networks and investigate possible relationships with other enterprises and/or contractors seeking common development strategies in terms of cost, safe use and time saving towards sustainable products‟   and services‟  standardization.
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