Transition from DIBt to ABG regulation in Germany
DIBt informed about a draft of the German ABG requirements on low emitting construction products on 6 January 2016 in German language with a third version from 29 June 2016. The new regulation is planned to be in force in 2017 without explicit date. It is targeted at indoor air quality and health in buildings. The regulation gives specifications of products that show low VOC emissions, and that are free of a number of hazardous ingredients, and it says that such products shall be used to obtain a healthy indoor environment. The limit values are mostly the same as under the DIBt regulation.
No Ü mark together with a CE mark
At the same time DIBt will stop its approval system with abZ approvals and Ü mark for all products that can be CE marked, meaning for which a harmonized EN standard exists. Deadline also is 15 October.
For other products, meaning those for which no harmonized EN standard exists and therefore CE marking is not possible, the DIBt approval scheme will continue to be required, if it was applied before. DIBt may also add more products to the scope of its regulation.
You are not sure whether your product follows a harmonized EN standard and thus can be CE marked? Then please look into the list of harmonized standards (as of November 2015).
Transition period for CE marked products
The following applies to all products that can be CE marked, meaning for which a harmonized EN standard exists, and that were within the scope of the DIBt abZ approval system:
- Any existing abZ approval and the related surveillance (factory inspections, re-testing) is required on the German market until 15 October 2016.
- Applications for new approvals, and for a change of any existing approval, are no longer accepted since end of January 2016. Any applications reaching DIBt before that deadline will need to be decided until 15 October 2016.
- After 15 October, an abZ approval cannot be required by German authorities any longer.
- The Ü mark MUST NOT BE affixed to products and packaging carrying a CE mark after 15 October 2016 any longer.
- DIBt cannot prescribe how to show compliance with the new German ABG regulation after 15 October 2016 for products that can be CE marked.
- DIBt recommends to show a valid abZ approval as proof of compliance that is under annual surveillance until its maximum validity. Maximum possible validity of an abZ is April 2020.
- Many manufacturers are using this possibility. They plan to use their valid abZ as marketing argument against competing products without an abZ.
- New products do not have this possibility any longer.
- This unequal treatment of old and new products will give severe problems, but nevertheless these are the present plans of the German authorities.
- Other programs must be accepted as well.
- The Eurofins operated Indoor Air Comfort certification program is another good choice for that purpose.
No change will occur for other products, those that cannot be CE marked. They may need to apply for an abZ approval and an Ü mark, if they are covered by the DIBt regulation.
If a product can be CE marked, no new German abZ approval and no update of an existing approval is possible any longer (if not an application had been sent in before February 2016).
But Eurofins offers an alternative:
- The Indoor Air Comfort (IAC) label and product certification allows to show compliance with any VOC regulation across Europe in one run, among that the forthcoming German ABG regulation.
- The Indoor Air Comfort GOLD label is the best-of-the-class independent label on the market.
It includes the VOC requirements of most of the voluntary ecolabels, on top of the regular IAC label.
- The surveillance with inspections and re-testing is handled in a pragmatic and targeted manner, but they are on the same quality level as the present DIBt requirements.
If you continue surveillance of existing DIBt approvals, then both can be done in one run with only small additional costs.
- The certificates can be downloaded for free from our website: www.eurofins.com/iac-certified.
- The related lab tests are accepted by many voluntary programs, such as EMICODE, Blue Angel, M1, FloorScore, …
Advantages of using the certification solutions of Eurofins
Other providers will certainly also offer solutions for you. The advantages of using Eurofins certification solutions is that we are positioned globally:
- We know your needs as manufacturer or as trading company, in whatever country you are active.
And we can serve you with local contacts in several languages.
- We always adjust our system to any new regulations and other relevant market requirements on VOC emissions.
- The Indoor Air Comfort label is accepted as proof of compliance with the VOC specifications in several certification programs for sustainable buildings, among those are:
- Our product certification includes inspection of production and quality management on top of testing. This increases the credibility of the statement on low VOC emissions, and this allows a reasonable reduction of the testing burden:
We select the necessary test samples such that they represent a group of similar products. Without that approach you may be urged by the market to test many more products.
- The decision between just testing, or testing plus certification, depends on the respective company, its structure and its market.
Eurofins VOC related services
Eurofins offers documentation of compliance with the specifications on emissions of VOC and aldehydes by independent and ISO 17025 accredited testing, and if relevant also with external surveillance (inspections, re-testing), and certification, e.g. in combination with the Eurofins operated certification programme Indoor Air Comfort - certified products.
Eurofins operates both an accredited and notified test house and an approved ÜZ certification body. VOC emissions testing for any program or regulation can be easily combined with tests for other regulations or labels such as Belgian VOC regulation, French VOC regulations, German VOC regulations, EMICODE, German Blue Angel, Finnish M1 and US tests. Such combinations allow to save money compared with separate testing for each of these purposes. One example is the Eurofins Pan-European test package.
Certification and testing services for Ü mark, CE mark and the Eurofins certification program Indoor Air Comfort - certified products can be ordered in parallel for use on different market segments - there will be significant costs saving when compared to ordering these services separately.
Contact to surveillance and testing services
- Surveillance and Certification body:
(also DIBt approved surveillance and certification body)
Eurofins Consumer Product Testing GmbH
Am Neuländer Gewerbepark 4
21079 Hamburg, Germany
Phone: +49 40 492 94 6815
- Testing lab:
(also DIBt approved testing body, and accredited as well as notified testing lab)
Smedeskovvej 38, 8464 Galten, Denmark
Phone: +45 7022 4276
Contact to VOC Testing Laboratories
Please see here contact information of Eurofins VOC testing laboratories in Europe, China and Japan: