The gap after the Ü

There is no longer any room for the German mark of conformity, the so-called Ü-Zeichen, on construction ­products that already bear the European CE mark. This is what the European Union demands for the purpose of free movement of goods. Affected are, among others, the “harmonized construction products” precast concrete elements and prefabricated reinforced components of lightweight aggregate concrete.

The judgment of the European Court of Judgment in Case C-100/13 and the subsequent changes in lists A and B of the Bauregellisten, the list of building regulations of the German Institute for Construction Engineering (DIBt), has created a dilemma for the precast concrete industry. This is because the model building regulations in Germany still require manufacturers and users to certify that the use of a construction product “meets the legal requirements of the engineered structures, proper maintenance provided.” In other words: The parties involved in a construction project must now prove in some other way what was previously attested to by the Ü Mark. Clear directions as to how this can be done are still not available.

The inspection and certification bodies (Pütz-Stellen), quality assurance, trade associations, and other industrial organizations are temporarily filling the gap left by the Ü Mark: for example, by replacing the certificate of conformity with a product certificate and the appropriate recommendations for action. But an unambiguous solution is still urgently required. By the way: specialized technical editors would also welcome such a solution. At this time, there is hardly an industry representative who wants to comment on the current limbo situation in the media, let alone dare to make a prediction on further developments.

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