The harmonised area

All construction products placed on the market and covered by a harmonised standard must be CE marked.

Introduction to the harmonised area

The vast majority of construction products placed on the market must be CE marked before they can be marketed, sold and used in EU and EEA member states. This applies to all construction products covered by a harmonised standard or a European Technical Assessment (ETA) issued under the Construction Products Regulation.

The Construction Products Regulation lays down a set of harmonised rules and conditions that must be met before construction products can be traded or made available on the market, setting out requirements concerning descriptions of the performance and main characteristics of construction products, as well as rules regarding the use of CE marks on such products. The purpose of the Regulation is to reduce the costs connected with cross-border trade in the EU and to make such trade easier.

The harmonised European Standards (hEN) issued under the Regulation are prepared by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) at the request of the European Commission. The harmonised standards contain product-related requirements for the performance and use of specific products. They are based on the general requirements and the framework set out in the Construction Products Regulation (CPR).

There is thus a close relationship between the requirements of the CPR and the standards set out in the Regulation.  

The CPR requires that construction products covered by a harmonised standard or an ETA must be CE marked in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation before they can be placed on the market in the EU.

Harmonised standards are particularly important in the building and construction sector, as compliance with them is mandatory for manufacturers, and they should therefore be regarded as requirements.

Up to 80% of all construction products must be CE marked. The European Commission publishes a list in the Official Journal of the European Union with references to harmonised standards that comply with the relevant mandates.

Official Journal of the European Union

The Commission’s website provides access to a list of harmonised standards that are in force and accessible. They can be found using the following link:

Go to the Official Journal of the European Union (new window)

CE marking can be regarded as an agreement of trust between public authorities and industry. The CE mark indicates that the characteristics of the construction product marked have been assessed according to uniform rules and that the product can therefore be freely traded in the extended Single Market without having to meet any further requirements for national testing and approval. However, the mark cannot be regarded as a quality label, as is the case for other product categories.

The issuing of an ETA is a voluntary option that can be used to obtain CE marking for a construction product where there is no relevant harmonised standard.