Limits of the „freedom“ given by DoP and CE-mark

One would say, without deeper knowledge, that a CE-marked product is free to go anywhere in the EU. This is true but only partially. The devil is in the detail and sometimes, a market surveillance authority is possessed by the devil. We should not forget some aspects which are still in the game although CE marking is presented as a “free pass” within the EU.

Language localisation

Regulation 305/2011 (CPR): When making a construction product available on the market, manufacturers shall ensure that the product is accompanied by instructions and safety information in language determined by the Member State concerned which can be easily understood by users.

This paragraph of Regulation 305/2011 (CPR) makes clear that basically all the information on the product needs to be translated. The same applies to a Declaration of Performance. Practically speaking, the destination country must be known in advance so that the necessary linguistics localisation is prepared.

National requirements in place

Regulation 305/2011 (CPR): The declaration of performance shall in addition contain the performance of those essential characteristics of the construction product which are related to the intended use or uses, taking into consideration the provisions in relation to the intended use or uses where the manufacturer intends the product to be made available on the market.

This paragraph of Regulation 305/2011 (CPR) raises questions about its correct interpretation. However, is seems that the meaning is that if “the provisions are not considered”, the product should not be marketed in that country having the provisions. In other words, the DoP must be in line with the national requirements of the destination country. It is logical, yet some details are unclear. However, it does not make sense to have a product with characteristics which are not good enough to fulfil building codes of the destination country.

Non-harmonised elements

There are still some aspects of technical assessment which seem to be difficult to harmonise within EU. The most significant ones are probably release of dangerous substances and fire resistance. Here, the methods of harmonised standards can be recognised insufficient and some more testing according to the national rules can be necessary. It advised to check for such provisions before the product is marketed in the country.

Additional national peculiarities

As the world is not black and white, harmonisation also does not work fully as it is expected. Some countries really do not like to give up their national procedures. It is important to understand that aspects covered by harmonised standards (or EADs) cannot be subject to re-testing according to national rules. Such re-testing is usually voluntary but cannot be imposed. It needs to be said that some national authorities exceed their jurisdiction, and it is good to know the rights and be able to defend.

Voluntary certification schemes

It is not rare that voluntary certificates have a stronger market position than legal requirements. This usually happens when the voluntary certificates provide more practical results (e.g. quality classes), are better understood, and have good marketing support. Of course, these cannot be officially required – but can be a “must” for a real success on the market.


Theoretically, a CE-marked product should be free to go within EU. However, it is not completely true because the harmonisation is not perfect and there can still be residues of national procedures which are still relevant. The market situation may also force to perform additional testing to satisfy the customer.