Regulations for external monitoring and certification under the conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic

In order to enable manufacturers to place construction products on the market in accordance with the Construction Products Regulation (with CE marking) or in accordance with the building codes of the federal states of Germany (with Ü marking) even under the restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the certification bodies have been enabled by corresponding specifications of the European Commission or by the Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik (DIBt) to temporarily apply alternative procedures.

External inspections worldwide are accordingly carried out in the form of so-called "indirect" inspections ("remote inspections"), i.e. without a direct visit of the manufacturing plant. The corresponding external inspections are thus carried out on the basis of questionnaires to be completed, requested documents of the factory production control and, if necessary, video and telephone conferences. Indirect external inspections are currently the only legally compliant way of maintaining existing CE certificates (AVCP systems 1+, 1 and 2+) or certificates of conformity.

Guidelines for the procedures of the certification bodies are available in the form of corresponding papers of the "Group of Notified Bodies". These contain guidelines that are to be applied with regard to the maintenance of existing certificates, whereby positive results of a "risk assessment" to be carried out in advance (among other things, on the basis of the previous monitoring results, the reliability of the manufacturing company) are a mandatory prerequisite.
Regulations regarding the start of surveillance operations (performance of initial inspections) under COVID-19 pandemic conditions are not available yet.