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Construction Products Regulation (CPR) - new requirements for cables
The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) is a REGULATION (EU) No 305/2011 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 9 March 2011 laying down harmonized conditions for the marketing of construction products and repealing Council Directive 89/106/EEC (Construction Product Directive). The regulation "lays down conditions for the placing or making available on the market of construction products by establishing harmonized rules on how to express the performance of construction products in relation to their essential characteristics and on the use of CE marking on those products." The Regulation entered into force on July 1, 2013.
In the case of isolated conductors and cables used as construction products, the CPR is based on the harmonized European standard EN 50575:2014, whose implementation date was set at July 1, 2016. Since that date, manufacturers/importers have had 12 months to fully comply with the new regulations and adapt to the new requirements. This means that from July 1st 2017 all installation cables should be treated as construction products and subject to appropriate regulations. The new regulations require manufacturers to issue Declaration of Performance (DoP), as well as label their products meeting the relevant standards with CE mark. The manufacturer, by drawing up his DoP, assumes the responsibility for the conformity of the construction product with the declared performance(s). EN 50575 standard specifies the requirements for the fire performance of cables which are used in permanent systems in buildings, i.e. power cables, control and communication cables, fiber optic cables:
  • power cables – isolated conductors and electric cables used e.g. for the supply of electricity;
  • control and communication cables – isolated conductors, symmetrical and coaxial cables with metallic conductors used e.g. in telecommunications systems, for data transmission, for distribution of TV and radio signals in RF networks, in signaling and control systems;
  • fiber-optic cables – used e.g. in telecommunications systems, for data transmission, for distribution of TV and radio signals in RF networks, in signaling and control systems.
Until now, the conductors and cables were treated exclusively as electrical products subject to product safety regulations under the Low Voltage Directive (LVD) and were subject to CE marking by the manufacturer. The new rules established by EN50575 impose on manufacturers (also importers and distributors) the obligation to commission relevant tests to notified certification bodies/laboratories in order to obtain certificates confirming the fire resistance classes of their products and to issue Declarations of Performance (DoP) with the relevant Euroclasses. The Euroclass of a construction product (including power, control and communication cables) allows for the classification of the reaction of it to fire according to the same rules and criteria across Europe. The markings of the fire classification can already be found on the labels of many construction products and will soon be required for all such products.
Cable classification scheme according to EN50575 standard
Euroclass
Test methods
Additional classification
Examples of products
 AcaEN ISO 1716 halogen-free cables
 B1ca EN 50399
EN 60332-1-2
smoke production (s1, s2),
flaming droplets/particles (d1,d2)  
and acidity (a1)
halogen-free cables
 B2ca EN 50399
EN 60332-1-2
hard PVC and halogen-free cables
 Cca EN 50399
EN 60332-1-2
halogen-free cables
Dca EN 50399
EN 60332-1-2 
high-quality PVC cables
 EcaEN 60332-1-2  no performance determined (NPD)
PVC cables
 Fca

Not fulfilling requirements
for
Eca

 no performance determined (NPD) PE and PVC cables
According to CPR and EN50575 standard there are seven Euroclasses of classifying the reaction of cables to fire: Aca, B1ca, B2ca, Cca, Dca, Eca, Fca along with additional criteria characterizing smoke production, occurrence of flaming droplets/particles and acidity of combustion and thermal decomposition of the products. Aca class defines nonflammable cables (no reaction), whereas Fca class contains cables not fulfilling Eca class requirements (i.e. with undetermined performance). Additional classification includes:
  • s1, s2 - smoke production,
  • d1, d2 - occurrence of flaming droplets/particles,
  • a1 - acidity.
 
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