What is an EAD?

A European Assessment Document, or EAD for short, is a harmonised technical specification developed by EOTA as the basis for European Technical Assessments (ETAs).

In combination with the ETA, the EAD provides manufacturers with a way to CE marking for construction-products not covered by a harmonised European standard (hEN) under the Construction Products Regulation (EU) 305/2011. The CE marking allows the manufacturer to freely market his product in the entire European Economic Area as well as in Switzerland and Turkey.

Since the CPR came into force until the end of 2019, EOTA has developed 439 EADs based on which the TABs have issued 7,708 ETAs.

EADs have many benefits for construction product manufacturers:

  • Tailor-made: EADs can be tailored to the construction product
  • Confidential: The EAD development procedure is kept confidential at your request to protect your competitive advantage and business secrets.
  • Free of cost and open access: The EAD comes to you at no extra cost. It is developed as part of the ETA procedure where required. The cost is born by EOTA and its members and partially financed through EU grants awarded to EOTA.
  • Single point of contact: The Technical Assessment Body you have chosen for your ETA will guide you through the entire EAD/ETA procedure. The TAB will also be your liaison with the EAD development community at EOTA.

Find a competent TAB for the European Technical Assessment of your construction product

When is an EAD developed?

An EAD can be developed in all cases where the assessment of a construction product is not or not fully covered by a harmonised technical specification, i.e. a harmonised standard (hEN) or an already available EAD (cf. CPR, Art. 19).

The development of new, or the amendment of existing, EADs is usually triggered by an ETA request from a manufacturer. If the manufacturer wishes to have the performance of an essential product characteristic assessed for which there is no appropriate harmonised assessment method yet, an existing EAD will be amended or a new one developed.

The TAB chosen by the manufacturer for the ETA project will also be the "responsible TAB" for the EAD development.

Who develops the EADs?

The EADs are developed by the EOTA network consisting of nearly 50 highly qualified Technical Assessment Bodies (TABs) mandated by their states to issue ETAs and co-ordinated by the EOTA Secretariat based in Brussels.

Further stakeholders, such as the European Commission or the Member States, also have a role to play in the EAD/ETA procedure.

Where confidentiality allows, EOTA co-operates with external experts and stakeholders to develop state-of -the-art technical specifications for the construction sector (read more on how to become an external expert).

The manufacturer who requested the related ETA has also an important say in shaping the content of the EAD and can provide input at any stage of the process via the TAB of his choice.

In other words, there is a lot of technical, practical and scientific expertise and cooperation going into each stage of the EAD development.

What does an EAD contain?

It contains, at least,

  • a general description of the construction product and its intended use (Chapter 1),
  • the list of essential characteristics relevant for the intended use and methods and criteria for assessing the performance of the product (Chapter 2),
  • principles for the implementation of the system for assessment and verification of constancy of performance (Chapter 3).

Availability of EADs

During the EAD development procedure, the content and even the fact that an EAD is being developed is subject to confidentiality upon the request of the manufacturer. Only after the first ETA has been issued, EOTA starts making the EAD publicly available.

  • References to final EADs, also called stage-8-EADs (see below), are announced on the EOTA website once the first ETA has been issued.
  • Finally, the reference of the EAD is published by the European Commission in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and provided in NANDO.
  • As soon as the EAD reference has been published in the OJEU, EOTA provides the full text of final EADs free for download on this website.

Browse final and published EADs on the EOTA website

Legal framework

The legal basis for the EAD/ETA route to CE marking is the Construction Products Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 (CPR), see in particular, Articles 19, 20, 22, 24 and 25 as well as Annex II

Along with harmonised European standards, EADs have the status of harmonised technical specification (hTS) within the meaning of the CPR (see Art. 2, point 10).

EAD development procedure – stage by stage

The development of an EAD is usually triggered when a manufacturer requests a European Technical Assessment (ETA) and harmonised criteria for the assessment of the product's performance are missing.

 

From the manufacturer's point of view, the EAD development is handled by the Technical Assessment Body he has chosen as a partner for the ETA project on his behalf.

Furthermore, a network of highly qualified Technical Assessment experts, the EOTA network, and several other actors come into play to bring each EAD along.

Eight EAD development stages are usually distinguished based on Annex II of the Construction Products Regulation (EU) No 305/2011:

Stage designation

Who is involved?

Stage 1

ETA request

Manufacturer & responsible TAB (RTAB)

  • The manufacturer requests a European Technical Assessment (ETA) for a construction product to a competent Technical Assessment Body (TAB) from the EOTA network.
  • The TAB and the manufacturer sign an agreement of commercial secrecy and confidentiality, if wished for by the manufacturer.
  • The manufacturer submits a manufacturer's technical file (MTF) with detailed information on the product, its intended use, as well as details of the factory production control the manufacturer intends to apply.
  • The ETA request is registered with EOTA.

 

If a new EAD needs to be developed for the ETA or an existing one amended …

 

Stage 2

Consultation of work and assessment programme and contract between TAB and manufacturer

RTAB, EOTA

 

  • EOTA launches a consultation among member TABs designated for the relevant product area to form a working group for the EAD development.

The TAB chosen by the manufacturer is automatically the responsible TAB (RTAB) and main drafter. Other TABs designated for the product area can contribute actively to the EAD development process and comment at different stages of the development process.

  • The RTAB and the EOTA working group develop a work and assessment programme. The RTAB ensures that the manufacturer's feedback and wishes are taken into consideration.
  • The information gathered at this stage – key elements of the working programme, organisation at EOTA level and TABs contributing to the EAD development – are laid down in a contract between the manufacturer and the responsible TAB. This contract is the true starting point of the EAD development procedure.

Stage 3

Agreed final work programme & information to the European Commission (EC)

Manufacturer & RTAB & EOTA

 

  • The final work programme is agreed among all competent TABs for the relevant product area(s).
  • Once it has been agreed and usually no later than three months after the start of this procedure, EOTA informs the European Commission of the work programme, containing the details of the request and the assessment programme to be followed. From that moment on, the development of an EAD in general should not exceed six months until its adoption.

Stage 4

EAD drafting

Manufacturer & RTAB & EOTA

  • The RTAB prepares the draft EAD.
  • TABs designated for the relevant product area(s) are invited to participate in the EAD drafting and provide comments throughout the development.
  • In addition, horizontal or ad hoc project teams may contribute to the development of specific assessment methods or the discussion of assessment approaches where required.

Stage 5

Adoption of draft EAD

Manufacturer & RTAB & EOTA

  • The draft EAD is adopted by EOTA after a first consultation with the European Commission services, their Technical Consultant (EC consultant) and the manufacturer.

Stage 6

Extensions and delays for the finalisation of EU legislative procedures, where relevant

European Commission, Standing Committee on Construction (SCC), Council, European Parliament

  • The timeframe given in the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) for the development of an EAD is 9 months. However, delays cannot always be avoided.
  • Recognised reasons for possible delays include:
    • Consultation of Member States on delegated acts for AVCP decisions and publication
    • Consultation of Member States on agreements on classes of performances or threshold levels and respective agreements
    • Need to develop a new test method
  • If the development process is delayed, the manufacturer will be informed as soon as possible. Your TAB may also be able to tell you in advance whether delays are likely to occur.

Stage 7

EAD adoption

EOTA & European Commission

  • The final EAD is agreed in the responsible EOTA working group. The responsible TAB then formally submits it to the manufacturer for final comments.
  • Finally, the draft is adopted by EOTA's Technical Board and submitted for official observations to the European Commission (EC).
  • If no comments are received within 15 working days or once the comments received have been handled, the EAD is considered adopted by EC.
  • This version called Adopted EAD forms the basis for the drafting the ETA.

Stage 8

Issuing of ETA and publication of reference of final EAD in Official Journal of the European Union

RTAB & EOTA & European Commission

  • The RTAB issues your ETA after consultation of all TABs designated for the relevant product areas.
  • The responsible TAB together with the EOTA working group has the possibility to adjust the EAD once more based on the experience gained.
  • The final version is then formally adopted as Final EAD by EOTA
  • This final EAD version is then submitted to the European Commission for publication of its reference in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) 

The EAD is disclosed by EOTA, announcing the EAD number and title as “pending for OJEU citation” on EOTA’s website.

Timeline

The usual timeline for the development of an EAD set out in the Construction Products Regulation is nine months.

Additional information

In case you have any questions, or you would like to receive further details, please refer to our FAQ section.