Supporting our members on standardisation in Europe
Appropriate standards for product performance and testing benefit everyone involved with the bitumen industry: they help specifiers select the best product for each application and eliminate potential commercial and technical barriers to trade, by providing a set of common references for buyers and suppliers.
The development and use of a common technical language (including standards, rules and practice) is, therefore, a key issue for the European bitumen industry in terms of cross-border trading in the internal EU market and spreading innovation, knowledge and best-practices further afield.
In accordance with our mission, ‘to promote the efficient, safe use of bitumen in road, industrial and building projects, and create a positive environment for sustained bitumen demand in Europe’, we are actively involved in shaping the European standardisation process for bitumen and bituminous binders.
Driving the standardisation process
Eurobitume plays a key role in helping define and update European bitumen standard specification frameworks which benefit the whole industry: frameworks which provide users with important assurances regarding product performance and can be implemented cost-effectively.
We also understand what requirements are set by national regulatory bodies within individual European Member States and where there are non-overlapping or contradicting requirements selected within the harmonised frame, so that our members’ important cross-border trade can proceed.
To enable us to provide our expert input into the standardisation process, we first draw heavily upon our members’ wealth of experience, expertise and important innovative work - which is crucial to the successful evolution of the industry to meet future challenges. Our relevant Committees, Sub-Committees and Task Forces collate these valuable contributions and then develop appropriate Eurobitume positions.
Acknowledged as coming from the first reference for bitumen in Europe, these positions are provided as expert input to CEN by Eurobitume members - through their National Standardisation Bodies and mirror committees.
In exactly the same way, we ensure the test methods and descriptions used to characterise our products are relevant, make use of established practices and terminology, where appropriate, and reflect the latest methodology, applications and thinking of our innovative industry.
Engaging with relevant bodies
Once these positions have been developed, we work hard to engage with all relevant authorities, administrations and users, to make sure the positions are effectively communicated and have the desired impact.
- We are directly and indirectly involved in CEN/TC 336, which is responsible for the production of bitumen-related standards, as well as its Working Groups and Task Groups.
- We engage with the European Commission in a number of ways, including:
- Helping define the best way to satisfy regulatory demands without compromising the competitiveness of our sector.
- Highlighting the duplication of information on Declaration of Performance (DoP) and CE Marking which does not provide users with any additional information.
- Providing input into the revision of the Construction Products Regulation.
- Raising our concerns about the non-citation of technically agreed, state-of-the-art European specifications, which can cause users confusion and is holding back innovations in product development and performance standards.
• We are also active in the standardisation process for asphalt and other applications, through National Standardisation Bodies and their mirror committees.
The first reference for bitumen in Europe
As the focal point for and voice of the bitumen industry in Europe, Eurobitume also has a central role in various other initiatives regarding bitumen specifications and testing:
- We run Data Collection projects to help assess the potential effectiveness of new approaches for specifications and share our experiences within the community.
- We co-ordinate valuable round robin tests with external laboratories, which positively contribute to enhancing the accuracy of testing and the reliability of results.
Further information about bitumen standards can be found on the Eurobitume website by clicking here.