Briefing: Evaluation of construction product emissions

Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union
8-14, rue Jacques de Lalaing
1040 Brussels
Belgium
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The German Environment Agency organised on October 19th 2017 in Brussels a briefing on ‘European Harmonisation of the Health Assessment of Construction Products Emissions’. The aim of the event was to present and discuss a planned delegated act of the European Commission with a mandatory class system for emissions from construction products.

Background

The Commission Services introduced their draft proposal for a VOC classification for the CE marking of construction products in the summer of 2017. In the view of the German authorities the current proposal is very weak in content and offers little protection for consumers from emissions of construction products. The proposed criteria make it impossible to select safe products for use indoors. Germany cannot accept this proposal and stands up for resuming negotiations on the technical content of the delegated act. From the German point of view it is essential that the future classification is compatible with a high level of protection for consumers.

The aim of the event on 19 October was therefore to promote the discussion on the topic of Europe-wide harmonised labeling of material emissions and to propose improvements to the draft VOC classification system.

A European harmonized list of health reference values for construction product emissions (the EU-LCI list) is an important part of the intended VOC classification system. The German Environment Agency has been working intensively on the harmonisation of the EU-LCI list for many years.

Programme and results

Lilian Busse (UBA , Head of Division II) opened the event with a short presentation in which the German position on the Commission proposal was also stated. Subsequently, key stakeholders were able to express their points of view in short speeches. A panel discussion with the speakers including the participants completed the programme. In her closing remarks, Mrs. Busse confirmed that the harmonisation of health requirements for construction products is a common goal for all concerned. She welcomed the opportunity for negotiations on the current Commission draft proposal and the fact that the positions of the different stakeholders became clearer. However, Mrs Busse has also reiterated that Member States wish to maintain their (currently higher than the one proposed) level of protection and therefore wish to see room for improvement in the delegated act.

In the following you will find a brief event report, the presentation slides of the speakers, the event program as well as the German position in a Scientific Opinion Paper for downloading.

Further information