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The European Association for Passive Protection (EAPFP) welcomes the production of a draft Standardisation Request from the European Commission to CEN, the European standards writing body. The introduction of the Request follows successful lobbying from EAPFP, CEPE (the European trade association for paints and varnishes) and others.

The Standardisation Request will lead to a suite of harmonised product standards to mandate CE marking for the following passive fire protection products:

1. Reactive (intumescent) coatings for ferrous substrates
2. Fire stopping and fire sealing products for penetration seals, linear joint seals,
3. Other fire protective products: boards / slabs, mats, renderings

The introduction of the Standardisation Request will lead to harmonised product standards for the three products groups outlined above and thus mandatory CE marking. These three families of products are currently covered by European Technical Assessments drafted under the auspices of the European Organisation for Technical Approvals (EOTA).

Whilst CE marking is possible and is already undertaken using European Technical Assessments, manufacturers are under no obligation to do so. So there exists on the market products which are CE marked and products which are not, creating a non-level playing field and giving rise to confusion in the market.

EAPFP believes that mandatory CE marking resulting from the Standardisation Request will help level the playing field for the market in such products and prevent poor quality products from being sold. This is the case with other passive fire protection products, such as fire dampers, which are already covered by a harmonised product standard and consequently have had to be CE marked since 2013.

CEN has set up a group to prepare for the new work including discussion on the structure of the standards and in which CEN committees the work will be undertaken. EAPFP has signification representation on this group. In addition, CEN TC 127, the CEN committee for passive fire protection products in buildings has set up Working Group 9 Fire protective products to deal with the production of such standards where they fall under the scope of CEN TC127. WG9 is chaired by EAPFP Technical Officer Niall Rowan.

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