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European National Legislation >> German VOC regulation >> Details of ABG regulation

New regulation in Germany ABG – publication of the MVV TB

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After abolition of the U-mark for CE labelled construction product in Germany, DIBt provided new German requirements called ABG within the administrative regulation MVV TB) on low emitting construction products.

This administrative regulation MVV TB (Muster-Verwaltungsvorschrift Technische Baubestimmungen) was published on 31st August 2017 and next step would be that each single of the 16 federal states in Germany are adapting that regulation into their federal building laws. This will happen step by step and the plan is that all federal states are going to implement this by the end of 2018.

This regulation is targeted at indoor air quality and health in buildings and defines specifications of products that show low VOC emissions, and it limits a number of hazardous ingredients. The ABG regulation is valid for all construction products used in regularly occupied rooms ("Aufenthaltsräume") that contain significant portions of organic nature and that therefore have a disposition to release volatile organic compounds.

These products are specifically mentioned:

  • Floor coverings, incl. floor coatings, screeds and mortars made of synthetic resin, artificial stone made of plastic, sport floorings
  • Flooring adhesives and adhesives for compound structures,
  • Underlays,
  • Coatings for wood floorings and for resilient floorings,
  • Decorative wall coverings made of plastic,
  • Ceiling coverings and constructions with significant portions of organic nature,
  • Insulation material with significant portions of organic nature, e.g. in-situ foams based on phenol resin or on urea-formaldehyde,
  • Treated or glued wood,
  • Fire protective coatings, for steel construction, or on-site applied

 

Depending on the type of product are several ways of showing compliance with:

 

Products without product standard (CE mark):

For products without CE mark, the German approval AbZ (Ü-mark) still will be required and can be used as proof of compliance.

 

Products with product standard (CE mark):

Detailed definitions of the product types and how to test and show compliance with the requirements are only given for textile floor coverings in a technical guideline. For this product group notified laboratories can perform testing according to the technical guideline and the ABG requirements. These laboratory reports can be used as proof for ABG. But there are not definitions concerning the frequency of testing or possible surveillance of the factory production control.

According to DIBt no further technical guidelines will be developed. DIBt proposes to the manufacturers of other CE marked products to purchase a “voluntary approval report” from DIBt defining the product range and testing program followed by a surveillance procedure with annual testing and inspection of the production site. A contract with a surveillance body like Eurofins will be mandatory in that case.

Another option would be to apply for an ETA (European Technical Assessment), but here manufacturers need to make sure, that this will also cover the ABG requirements. This is possibly a more complicated way to show proof with the ABG requirements.

Having a technical guideline only for textile floor coverings and no described mandatory surveillance procedure for textile floorings would mean that textile floorings and other floorings are not going to be treated in the same way. This circumstance might open the door for possible claims against that regulation.

How far other voluntary certification and surveillance systems like Indoor Air Comfort Gold will be accepted as proof of compliance, is not clearly defined in the MVV TB or ABG, but not excluded either. This depends on how far the federal building authorities or tendering company/authority will accept this. Eurofins is going to evaluate the possibilities for this.

Indoor Air Comfort Gold and voluntary DIBt approval reports:

The testing requirements of ABG are already included in the Indoor Air Comfort Gold specifications and will be tested automatically. Eurofins is a notified testing lab for DIBt and for the surveillance procedure as well. If a manufacturer choses to purchase a voluntary approval by DIBt followed by a surveillance contract, then this can be combined with an Indoor Air Comfort Gold Certification. For existing Indoor Air Comfort Gold clients no additional annual costs for testing or inspections will occur, only the costs for the voluntary DIBt approval.

For textile floor coverings Eurofins as a notified laboratory can perform the necessary products groupings, testing of the representative worst case and deliver the necessary documentation according to the technical guideline for textile floor coverings. This can happen without involving DIBt and the voluntary DIBt approval.

What to do now?

DIBt is already offering the voluntary approval reports. If this is a way a manufacturer wants to go then this can be applied to at DIBt with a surveillance contract by Eurofins. We are ready to help manufacturer with this!

If manufacturers do not want to be the early birds in this matter, they can await implementation of the federal laws within 2018 and then react on requests from their clients.

Indoor Air Comfort Gold certification will provide all necessary documentation for the voluntary DIBt approval.

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 regulationFrench VOC regulationsGerman VOC regulationsEMICODE, 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 markCE 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
Email: ccs@eurofins.com

  • Testing lab:
    (also DIBt approved testing body, and accredited as well as notified testing lab)
Eurofins Product Testing A/S
Smedeskovvej 38, 8464 Galten, Denmark
Phone: +45 7022 4276
Email CustomerSupport@Eurofins.com

Contact to VOC Testing Laboratories

Please see here contact information of Eurofins VOC testing laboratories in Europe, China and Japan:
www.eurofins.com/voc-contacts.