Obligations of the importer
Whereas the Construction Product Directive only mentioned the obligations of manufacturers, the Construction Product Regulation (CPR) now clarifies the obligations of importers and distributors alike. European Union (EU) law defines an importer as any natural or legal person established within the EU who is responsible for the import of goods. Under the CPR the importer is by definition responsible to fulfill his obligations as set out in the CPR for products imported by him into the EU.
Importers may only place products on the market which fully comply with the CPR. As such, where an importer has reason to believe that a construction product is not in conformity with the accompanied Declaration of Performance or other applicable requirements from the CPR, the importer may not place that construction product on the market until this is corrected. Furthermore, importers must ensure that construction products, where required, bear the CE mark and are accompanied by the correct documentation, instructions and safety information. The CE-marking must be visibly and legibly affixed to the product, followed by a type, batch or serial number.
Additionally, importers must now indicate their name, their registered trade name or registered trade mark and their contact address on the construction product or, where that is not possible, on its packaging or in a document accompanying the product. Under the CPR, importers are legally obliged to obtain and pass on the Declaration of Performance with all the new information in it. Furthermore, where appropriate, sample testing of the construction products must be carried out in order to ensure accuracy, reliability and stability of the Declaration of Performance.
Finally, there are cases where the importer may be regarded as the manufacturer of a construction product. This occurs where the importer places a product on the market under his name or trademark or modifies a construction product already placed on the market in such a way that conformity with the declaration of performance may be affected.