In many cases, construction products are not final products, but intermediate products. They include families of products as disparate as:
- concrete components,
- windows, and even
- sanitary appliances.
They are intended to be incorporated into construction works in a permanent manner, in particular in:
- bridges, and
Construction works must meet seven basic requirements. These requirements must be met for an "economically reasonable" life span, and for the duration of their life cycle. It should be noted that the requirement relating to the sustainable use of natural resources is a new element of the regulation.
To meet these requirements, it is important to know the performance of the products used in the works,
- both in buildings (private houses, building, etc.)
- and civil engineering constructions (bridges, roads, dams, etc.).
Construction products are subject to the rules on the free movement of goods within the European Union. On 1 July 2013, Directive 89/106/EEC was repealed by Regulation (EU) 305/2011. Since this date, this regulation, for which the political agreement was achieved under the Belgian Presidency, has been fully applicable.
This regulation simplifies the legal framework. Unlike a directive, a regulation is directly applicable in all member states.
The directive and the regulation lay down the rules for affixing the CE marking. These two European legislations are based on a common language (harmonised technical specifications), to make it possible to assess the performance of construction products. The difference between these regulations is primarily in the way performance is assessed and declared.