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Construction Products Regulation (CPR) – new requirements for cables
The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) is the REGULATION (EU) No. 305/2011 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 9 March 2011 related to the construction products and repealing Council Directive 89/106/EEC (Construction Product Directive). The regulation classifies construction products and lays down the rules regarding testing of said products. The Regulation entered into force on July 1, 2013.
In the case of isolated conductors and cables used as construction products, the CPR is based on the harmonized European standard EN 50575:2014, whose implementation date was set at July 1, 2016. Since that date, manufacturers/importers have had 12 months to fully comply with the new regulations and adapt to the new requirements. This means that from July 1st 2017 all installation cables should be treated as construction products and subject to appropriate regulations. The new regulations require manufacturers to issue Declaration of Performance (DoP), as well as label their products meeting the relevant standards with the CE mark. The manufacturer, by drawing up their DoP, assumes the responsibility for the conformity of the construction product with the declared performance(s). EN 50575 standard specifies the requirements for the fire performance of cables which are used in permanent systems in buildings, i.e. power cables, control and communication cables, fiber optic cables:
- power cables – isolated conductors and electric cables used e.g. for the supply of electricity;
- control and communication cables – isolated conductors, symmetrical and coaxial cables with metallic conductors used e.g. in telecommunications systems, for data transmission, for distribution of TV and radio signals in RF networks, in signaling and control systems;
- fiber-optic cables – used e.g. in telecommunications systems, for data transmission, for distribution of TV and radio signals in RF networks, in signaling and control systems.
So far, the conductors and cables have been considered exclusively as electrical products subject to product safety regulations under the Low Voltage Directive (LVD) and were subject to CE marking by the manufacturer. The new rules established by EN50575 impose on the manufacturers (also importers and distributors) the obligation to commission relevant tests to notified certification bodies/laboratories in order to obtain certificates confirming the fire resistance classes of their products and to issue Declarations of Performance (DoP) with the relevant Euroclasses. The Euroclass of a construction product (including power, control and communication cables) allows for its classification in terms of reaction to fire according to the same rules and criteria across Europe. The markings of the fire classification can already be found on the labels of many construction products and will soon be required for all such products.
Cable classification scheme according to EN50575 standard