European Technical Assessment
The route to the declaration of performance and CE marking
If you wish to market your product in one or several European Union member states, obtaining a European Technical Assessment, ETA, may be sensible. Having an ETA for your product permits you to draw up a declaration of performance (the ‘DoP’) and CE mark your product. Applying for an ETA is particularly relevant, if your product is innovative or unique or your construction product or system is complex.
The European Technical Assessment, ETA
The European Technical Assessment, ETA, is a legal instrument created by the European Construction Products Regulation (Regulation (EU) N° 305/2011). It is an alternative route for manufacturers to obtain the right to draw up and make available a declaration of performance, permitting the manufacturer to affix the CE marking on to his product. If CE marked, the product may circulate in the European Union internal market. In short, the European Technical Assessment provides access to the European market.
Once a European Technical Assessment has been issued, the manufacturer needs to demonstrate conformity of the products placed on the market with the ETA. How this needs to be done, depends on the conformity assessment system that applies for the product. This may be self-assessment, but may also be certification by a notified body.
Applying for a European Technical Assessment, ETA, is only possible if the product is not (yet) covered by a European harmonised standard. European Technical Assessments, ETA, cover products that deviate from the scope of European harmonised standards.
Applying for an ETA is a voluntary initiative taken by the applicant. There is no legal requirement that requires products to be covered by a European Technical Assessment, ETA.
The European Technical Assessment, ETA, is a means of gaining access to all European Union countries, but it does not guarantee that the users in those countries will have sufficient information and confidence to use your product.
What needs to be known when applying for a European Technical Assessment
When applying for a European Technical Assessment, it is important for the applicant to know
- Where the product is being made, whether the product’s properties and performances are being checked through a factory production control system and whether the applicant is able to permit the UBAtc’s operators to access the production facilities
- Which materials or components the product is made out of
- How the product should be installed, incorporated, executed or assembled and whether other products (possibly marketed by other suppliers) are necessary to install, incorporate, execute or assemble the product
The European Technical Assessment concerns the product as placed on the market. Therefore, information regarding installation, incorporation, execution or assembly and design may be less extensive.
European Assessment Documents
The European Assessment Documents (EAD) are available on the website of EOTA (European Organization for Technical Assessment).
The European Technical Assessment must be maintained
UBAtc’s regulation specifies that for European Technical Assessments issued by UBAtc, the ETA-holder must inform UBAtc immediately when:
- the content of the issued European Technical Assessment does not any longer correspond to the product-type.
- the subject of the European Technical Assessment does no longer comply with legal and regulatory provisions and/or that the product no longer complies with the provisions of the European Technical Assessment
Consequently, the UBAtc may withdraw the European Technical Assessment text from the UBAtc website and consider the European Technical Assessment as having been withdrawn by the ETA-holder.
Unless the ETA-holder requests the continued publication on the UBAtc website, the UBAtc will withdraw ETA texts from its list of issued European Technical Assessments 5 years after the issuing thereof.
Where can you use a European Technical Assessment?
The Agreement on the European Economic Area, in force since 1 January 1994, covers all Union harmonization legislation, including the Construction Products Regulation.
A European Technical Assessment is therefore applicable in
- the Member States of the European Union: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Czech Republic and Sweden; and
- the member states of the European Free Trade Association: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Bilateral trade in products between the European Union and Monaco, San Marino and Andorra is conducted according to customs union agreements: Monaco has a customs union with France and is part of the customs territory of the European Union; San Marino and Andorra both have customs union agreements with the European Union. Turkey and the European Union established a customs union in 1995. In 2006, the European Union – Turkey Association Council adopted a decision designating the Turkish Notified Bodies and recognizing the test reports and certificates issued by these bodies in Turkey. The parties have signed statements confirming that Turkish legislation is equivalent to that of the European Union for a number of New Approach directives and regulations, including the Construction Products Regulation. The Mutual Recognition Scheme concluded with Switzerland, which entered into force on 1 June 2002, is a comprehensive agreement based on the equivalence of Swiss and EU law, which also makes the Swiss Construction Products Regulation applicable.
What about Canada?
All products imported into and marketed in the European Union must comply with European Union technical regulations, regardless of the European Union’s preferential trade regimes or trade agreements with third countries. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada (CETA), which partially entered into force on 21 September 2017, therefore does not provide for automatic equivalence of technical regulations. Construction products placed on the European market must meet European requirements, just as products sold in the Canadian market must meet Canadian requirements. However, the CETA protocol allows designated European certification bodies to certify against Canadian requirements and assess designated Canadian certification bodies (Notified Bodies) for European ones. In short, a European Technical Assessment is not valid in Canada.
What about the United Kingdom?
The situation following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union creates a complex situation. That is why we have paid special attention to this in the articles below.
The United Kingdom has left the EU Single Market and Customs Union
Since 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom left the EU Single Market and Customs Union. As a result, the United Kingdom will no longer benefit from the principle of free movement of goods in the EU Single Market. Even with the new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement in place, manufacturers will face new trade barriers.
Consequences of the UK leaving the EU Single market and Customs Union for the conformity marking of construction products
Following the end of the transition period on 31/12/2020, there will be three different product marks that manufacturers, and others in the supply chain, may need to apply. The rules governing these marks will depend on where the product is intended to be used...
Did you know?
The Treaty and Union harmonization legislation apply to all Member States of the European Union, including Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion, Saint-Martin, the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands.
However, the legislation does not apply to the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, nor to those overseas countries and territories with special relations with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, such as Gibraltar.
Union harmonization legislation does not apply to overseas countries and territories, in particular: New Caledonia and Dependencies, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Wallis and Futuna, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Barthélemy, Aruba, Curaçao , Saint Martin, Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, Saba and Saint Eustatius), Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena and Dependencies, British Antarctica, British Indian Ocean Territory, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda.