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New EU regulation changes how construction cable is imported into Europe

15th July 2016, Stevenage, UK

Wiring Matters attended BASEC's launch of the vertical ladder test for CPR.

On 10 June 2016 it was announced that the European Union’s Construction Productions Regulation (CPR), EN 50575 (incorporating the new fire test EN 50399), would include cables used in construction. This means that all construction cable that is intended to fit permanently into the structure of a building, including power distribution, final circuit wiring, control and instrumentation and data communications cables, must meet specific cable testing and certification and must be CE marked. However, this only relates to cable that is fire reactive; cable  with declared fire resistance/circuit integrity (such as mineral insulated cable)  are not eligible for classification under CPR.

Photo of a vertical ladder test taking place  

Fire resistance cable (i.e. including mineral insulated cable) will likely be included in CPR within the next couple of years.

Compliance with CPR for fire reactive cable becomes mandatory in July 2017.

How this might affect you

Cable purchased through normal channels should already have been classified. The regulation will affect electricians who might purchase cable via eBay or other sites from countries outside the EU, with the purpose of installing that cable on a job. By purchasing the cable and using it in paid-for work you would in effect become an importer of that cable, and would be required to comply with the regulation.

How will the regulations be enforced?

  • EU Member States will have local regulatory legislation giving state powers to prosecute, fine, seize, etc.
  • The UK responsible party is the Local Authority Trading Standards.
  • In the UK, the Construction Products Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/1387) provides the regulatory framework for ensuring compliance.
  • There is the likelihood of prohibitions, suspensions, search, detention, forfeiture, etc. from suppliers.
  • Manufacturers and suppliers are encouraged to monitor their competitors and if necessary raise concerns.

Further information

BASEC logo  

BASEC has been accredited by United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) for the CPR standards and Designated by the DCLG. Once it has been Notified and published on the EU NANDO database, BASEC will be recognised as a Notified body across Europe.  As such, the BASEC website is a good starting point if you think you might need to have cable tested or certified: http://www.basec.org.uk/Cables. BASEC launched its large-scale vertical ladder fire test, used for CPR, this month.

If you are a wholesaler or retailer, BASEC is conducting CPR training seminars across the UK, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

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