The European Technical Assessment (ETA) is the documented assessment of the performance of a construction product in relation to its essential characteristics undertaken in order to CE-mark the product. The assessment can only be carried out by designated, independent and highly qualified assessment bodies, the Technical Assessment Bodies (TABs) on the basis of a European Assessment Document (EAD).
The procedure is defined in the Construction Products Regulation (EU) No 305/2011.
The European Assessment Document (EAD) is a document adopted by EOTA for the purpose of issuing European Technical Assessments (ETA). It contains the essential characteristics product and relevant assessment methods, cornerstones for factory production control and the related task to be performed by independent third-party bodies (notified bodies), as well as other information for the product group defined in the EAD.
Like harmonised standards, EADs are harmonised technical specifications within the meaning of the Construction Products Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 (CPR).
An ETA request can be submitted for all construction products within the meaning of the Construction Products Regulation which are not or not fully covered by a harmonised standard cited in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Construction products within the meaning of the Construction Products Regulation are products that are intended for incorporation in a permanent manner in construction works or parts thereof and whose performance is relevant in relation to the fulfilment of the basic requirements for construction works (cf. Art. 2 CPR).
Any manufacturer within the meaning of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) or their authorised representative established in the Union.
The CPR defines manufacturer as follows: any natural or legal person who manufactures a construction product or who has such a product designed or manufactured, and markets that product under his name or trademark (Article 2, point 19 of the CPR).
The ETA is valid in all EU Member States and those of the European Economic Area, as well as in Switzerland and Turkey. But it is also often accepted as technical documentation in other parts of the world.
ETAs issued after the 1 July 2013, i.e. European Technical Assessments, are valid for an indefinite period of time.
The costs for issuing a European Technical Assessment vary from case to case. Technical Assessment Bodies will provide you with a cost estimate.
On average, the ETA procedure takes approx. five months if no EAD needs to be developed.
If your product is not entirely covered by an existing EAD, a new EAD needs to be developed or an existing one amended. The Construction Products Regulation allows a processing time of approx. nine months for this procedure.
Beyond averages and from practical experience, the actual processing time for an ETA depends mainly on the complexity and scope of the assessment, the time required for testing, the speed of communication between the manufacturer and the Technical Assessment Body as well prior experience with the procedure.
A manufacturer is in a position to CE-mark the construction product for which he has obtained an ETA and place it on the market once he has drawn up a Declaration of Performance (DoP) on the basis of the ETA and the underlying EAD and when he fulfills the obligations with respect to the verification of constancy of performance as set out in the EAD.
Affixing the CE marking, or having it affixed, falls upon the manufacturer. By doing so, he takes full responsibility for the conformity of the construction products with the declared performance as well as the compliance with all applicable requirements laid down in the CPR and in other relevant Union harmonisation legislation.
An EAD is developed when 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 (Regulation EU No 305/2011).
The development of a new, or the amendment of an existing, EAD 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 EAD is developed by the EOTA network consisting of 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 also 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).
Last but not least, 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.
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, 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).
The usual timeline for the development of an EAD set out in the Construction Products Regulation is nine months.
See also 'How long does the ETA procedure take?' above.
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.
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.
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 of the CPR.
From the publication date in the OJEU, all the ETAs are to be issued according to the published EAD, which replaces the ETAG.
And what happens with the previously issued ETA? This is a more sensitive issue that may vary depending on national authorities and market surveillance.
Based on the discussions that have taken place at the EOTA Technical Board meetings the following was concluded:
- If there are no relevant technical changes in the ETAG to EAD conversion, i.e. the EAD is the result of applying the Regulation criteria and updating the format without introducing relevant technical changes, the use of the ETA and declaration of performance issued by the manufacturer possibly won’t be questioned.
- If there are relevant technical changes in the ETAG to EAD conversion, such as new characteristics or evaluation method changes, the manufacturer is advised to apply for an ETA update and to adapt its declaration of performances to the updated ETA. By doing so, the manufacturer will not have problems with national authorities or market surveillance organisations.
Technical Assessment Bodies, or TAB for short, are the bodies entitled to issue European Technical Assessments (ETAs) under the Construction Products Regulation (EU 305/2011). The Technical Assessment Bodies are designated by the Member States and have to meet strict criteria relating to their technical expertise and impartiality. The Member States may designate them for one or several product areas.
Find a TAB for the product area you are interested in.
Designated TABs are also listed on the NANDO website of the European Commission.
There might be a slight discrepancy between the information given on the EOTA Website and on NANDO, because the NANDO listing procedure for new TABs needs some time.