CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS DIRECTIVE
Convenor: Emmanuel Petit
Since 1973, low voltage products of the European electrical installation industry have fallen within the scope of the Low Voltage Directive, a total safety directive, which has encouraged the products of our reputable manufacturers to evolve safely and innovatively for 30 years. In 2002 the European Commission commenced a wide reaching review of this Directive which is providing the opportunity for its scope and effectiveness to be improved where necessary. CECAPI and its members have fully supported and been actively involved in the consultation process and it is likely that the revised Directive will be completed early in 2004. CECAPI particularly welcomes initiatives to improve the traceability of electrical items imported into the Community from elsewhere to counteract the growing threat of counterfeit products. With the inception of the Construction Products Directive in 1989 a debate was commenced to consider whether it is necessary for certain electrical products, particularly cable management products*, to meet the requirements of the CPD in relation to fire testing, in the same way that the products used by the building industry such as cement, plasterboard, drainage, guttering, wall coverings etc, do. Initially it was proposed that one simple test would apply to all product types. However in practice different tests have evolved for each product family. Since the Low Voltage Directive already encompasses fire testing within its scope, with the ability to engineer special tests suitable for electrical products, CECAPI holds the view that meeting the separate requirements of the CPD would be an unnecessary burden, achieving no
measurable safety improvement for our products, and yet increasing the cost of production which would ultimately result in higher prices to the end user. With this view in mind, CECAPI supports a Fire Working Group drawn from technical experts from within our member companies to advise on the most suitable methods for testing cable management products.