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The Construction Products Regulation (CPR)

FAQs and information

From 1st July 2017 cable manufacturers are obliged to test power cables and lines as well as control and communication cables for reaction to fire performance requirements in accordance with the new harmonised Standard EN 50575, and to classify and market them with aDeclaration of Performance (DoP in short).

Below we answer the questions we are most frequently asked in this context.

“CPR” stands for “Construction Products Regulation” (EU 305/2011).

A construction product is any product marketed for permanent installation into construction works or parts thereof, and the performance of which affects the following basic requirements of construction works:

• Mechanical strength and stability
• Fire protection (fire safety)
• Hygiene, health and environmental protection
• Safety and accessibility in use
• Noise insulation
• Energy economy and heat retention
• Sustainable use of natural resources

The performance of cable products affects the basic requirement of “fire protection” in construction works.

The Construction Products Regulation takes effect on 1st July 2017. After that manufacturers are no longer permitted to place cables for “fixed installation” in construction works on the European market without a CE marking and “Declaration of Performance” (DoP).

Safety cables with insulation integrity or functional integrity (System Circuit Integrity) are still currently exempt, as the necessary standards are not yet available.

The Construction Products Regulation applies to all power, control and data cables and lines permanently incorporated in construction works (fixed installation). “Fixed installation” covers all known exposed types of installation as well as surface- and flush-mounted installations.

Cables not intended for permanent use in buildings are generally exempt from the requirements of the CPR, for example:

• Patch cables (patch cords)
• Cable systems covered by the Machinery Directive (e.g. lift cables)
• Cables not intended for use in construction works (e.g. outdoor cables)
• Flexible cables to devices, lights or machines
• Cables leading to consumers via connectors
• Safety cables with insulation integrity and/or functional integrity

“Safety cables” are currently exempt from the requirements of the CPR.

According to EN 50575 “Cables intended to be used for the supply of electricity, communication, and fire detection and alarm in buildings and other civil engineering works where it is essential to assure the continuity of power and/or signal supply of safety installations such as alarm, way guidance and fire fighting installations are not covered by this standard.”

Work is under way on the appropriate standards for safety cables with insulation integrity and/or functional integrity (System Circuit Integrity).

The EU Commission has approved European test laboratories as notified bodies to test and evaluate the reaction to fire performance of cables for this additional task.

The product characteristics of a “construction product” cable must be determined and confirmed by a notified body. By the same token the manufacturer’s production facility must be subject to ongoing production control by the notified body.

Following product assessment and production monitoring the notified body authorises the manufacturer to deliver his products with the CE mark and to issue a Declaration of Performance (DoP).

In accordance with EN 50575 the fire classes so far known for construction products (e.g. A1, A2, B1, B2, and B3 in Germany) are replaced by seven new classes for cable products. The following criteria are evaluated when testing is carried out in compliance with EN 50575:

• Heat of combustion
• Thermal release
• Vertical flame propagation
• Smoke generation
• Flaming droplets/particles of plastics materials which can contribute to fire propagation
• Acidity

The results of this test should be assigned to the following cable classes:  

 Main class  Description
 Aca Non-flammable, no contribution to fire; products such as mineral-insulated cables
 and lines
 B1ca Low flammability, very limited contribution to fire
 B2ca, Cca Very limited or limited contribution to fire; cables/ lines without continuous flame
 propagation; limited fire development and thermal release rate
 Dca Acceptable contribution to fire; products with continuous fire propagation; moderate
 fire development and thermal release rate
 Eca Normally flammable; cables and lines with acceptable fire behaviour which have
 flame-retardant characteristics when exposed to a small pilot flame
 Fca Easily flammable; this cable can ignite when exposed to a small flame

Additional classifications are to be determined for classes B1ca to Dca.

The fire-critical parameters have been identified as smoke generation, flaming droplets of cable material and the acidity of the combustion gases:

Additional classes for smoke generation in cables:
 s1  slight smoke generation
  s1atransmittance ≥ 80%
  s1btransmittance ≥ 60%
 s2moderate smoke generation
 s3severe smoke generation
Additional classes for flaming droplets/particles in cables: 
 d0  no flaming droplets
 d1short-lived flaming droplets
 d2persistent flaming droplets
Additional classes for acidity in cables: 
 a1  slightly corrosive flue gases
 a2moderately corrosive flue gases
 a3severely corrosive flue gases

The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) regulates the placing of construction products on the market – but not their use in construction work. The selection and use of construction products are the responsibility of the European Member States. The requirements governing which fire protection class is specified for which location therefore differ from country to country.

Installers and specialist planners must check and comply with the relevant local regulations.

In many countries there are still no mandatory requirements governing the use of fire classes in buildings as from 1st July 2017. Where there are no minimum mandatory legal requirements, there are generally recommendations by the CPR professional associations for application in the relevant countries.

You will find up-to-date information on the classification of our cable products on our website.

In the online data sheets you will find icons for simple identification of the Euroclasses in which a product is covered (“main classes”). Reaction to fire performance conforming to EN 13501-6 (Euroclasses) – including the additional classifications – is shown in the data sheets under “Standards”.

For copper data cables there is also a selection filter for “Fire behaviour (Euroclasses)”. This means that it is easy to find the products with the relevant Euroclass.

You will find the up-to-date product data sheets on the Datwyler website. From 1st July 2017 Declarations of Performance will also be available as PDF files for downloading (next to the part number).

Declarations of Performance will be provided with the delivery documentation from 1st July 2017 at the latest. If a copy of the Declaration of Performance is needed it can be requested via the Datwyler contact address of the relevant country.

No, the labelling of cables does not form part of the CPR.

Cable designations are specified by the relevant design standards of the country of manufacture.

These cables may still be installed and used providing there are no national requirements relating to the use of classified cables under Construction Products Regulation.

If there already are national requirements relating to application, the use of cables without “CPR classification” should be clarified with the authorities responsible.

Cables covered by the CPR but placed on the European market before 1st July 2017 and bearing the CE mark in accordance with the Low Voltage Directive (LVD) may continue to be sold on for an indefinite period.

The specialist processing company is under no obligation to provide proof. It does not need to keep the labels or Declarations of Performance (DoPs) providing no special arrangements were made with its client.

A copy of the Declarations of Performance may be attached to the construction documentation by agreement. The cables are provided with serial numbers or codes by the manufacturers. This means that an installed cable can be matched to a Declaration of Performance over a ten-year period. 

Under the CPR the specialist processing company is not an “economic operator”. The specialist company only becomes a dealer if it resells the cable as merchandise, i.e. without performing any work. It must then sell the product with the appropriate labelling.