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STANDARDISATION: COMMISSION MAINTAINS SIMPLE RULES FOR FLAT GLASS.

Council Directive 89/106/EEC (construction products) provides that the Commission should choose the least onerous possible procedure consistent with safety when regulating the conformity assessment procedures for flat glass. By minimising the burden of conformity certification procedures on businesses, the February 2 decision is in line with the Commission's wish, wherever possible, to avoid legislation that would entail extra costs for European companies, and in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, in the context of achieving the single market.Voluntary certification schemes for flat insulating glass units are already used in all EU Member States except Germany (which has a compulsory scheme), with satisfactory results both in terms of product quality and energy conservation policy. In considering whether there should be a differentiation in imposing compulsory certification on "advanced" double glazing (filled with inert gas) - but only voluntary certification on its "ordinary" counterpart (filled with air), the Commission concluded that there were neither legal nor technical grounds for making this distinction. Whilst it is possible to differentiate between the various types of insulating glass unit, all are equally safe and the Commission decided that there is no need to impose more stringent third party certification on any given type.It is moreover worth remembering that the current national voluntary certification schemes result from different national standards. Once a European standard for insulating glass units is finalised, the rationale for these different national schemes will disappear. A voluntary European certification scheme should be their natural successor.

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Comment:STANDARDISATION: COMMISSION MAINTAINS SIMPLE RULES FOR FLAT GLASS.
Publication:European Report
Geographic Code:4EU
Date:Feb 9, 2000
Words:245
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