Hengeler Mueller represents Rockwool in Administrative Court regarding CE marking of building material

16. January 2013

The Gelsenkirchen Administrative Court decided after years of litigation, on 10 December 2012, that the mineral wool insulation materials produced by the Rockwool Group which fall within the scope of the DIN EN 13162 European standard do not require any further approvals in national technical approval procedures of the States (”Länder”) either in relation to the retail market or their use in buildings (e.g. section 21 Building Regulations for North Rhine-Westphalia (Bauordnung für das Land Nordrhein-Westfalen – BauO NRW)).

Products which meet the requirements of the European harmonised standard and have CE marking may be used in Germany without having to satisfy any additional national specifications. This means there will no longer be any requirement of labelling with the German compliance mark (the Übereinstimmungszeichen or Ü-Zeichen). The Administrative Court's decision confirms that the fire safety requirements with which all Rockwool products comply throughout Europe also apply without exception in Germany and that there is no leeway for requiring the additional use of the German compliance mark in the area of harmonised construction products. Moreover, under the new European Construction Products Directive, the use of the German compliance mark for harmonised construction products which have CE marking will generally no longer be permitted as of 1 July 2013.

The verdict resolved a long-running dispute between Rockwool and the Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik (DIBt), the German institute which acts as a construction approvals authority on behalf of the German federal states, in favour of Rockwool at first instance.

Hengeler Mueller represented Rockwool in these proceedings. The Hengeler Team includes partner Thomas Schmidt-Kötters (Public Law/ Building law) as well as senior associates Malte Jaguttis and Simeon Held (all Düsseldorf).