UEAtc (Union Européenne pour l'Agrément technique dans la construction) is a grouping of 17 approval bodies at present which grant officially recognised voluntary or mandatory national approvals for construction products and systems. The following countries are represented: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
The Union was founded in 1960 and counted at the time six founding members. In other words, it was founded 30 years before the adoption of the Construction Products Directive at the end of 1988. The Union is based on mutual trust in the technical competence and reliability of all partners; a legal or contractual basis does not exist. The aim is to reduce the costs of testing within the context of approval procedures by means of mutual recognition of tests performed in a prior national approval procedure.
UEAtc - Tasks
The aim of UEAtc is to remove trade barriers by mutual recognition of tests. In other words, if a product has already obtained a national approval (in the linguistic usage of UEAtc: "Agrément") based on appropriate approval tests, these tests may be recognised in a second approval procedure carried out by another institute. This applies as long as the tests methods to be used in the second approval procedure are identical with those in the initial procedure. However, if the test methods required for a given product property differ, mutual recognition is not possible; additional tests are then required in the second procedure. The verification of additional product properties, which have not been included in the original approval procedure, may also be necessary, since the national regulations may differ, e.g. due to different climatic conditions.
UEAtc - Guidelines
In order to facilitate mutual recognition and to harmonise as far as possible the test procedures prescribed by the approval bodies, "Technical Reports" or "Guides" are developed in the UEAtc, which in each case describe the essential properties of the product and the relevant test procedures for certain products.