This informative document is intended to provide informative guidance to notified certification bodies regarding how to maintain certificates if either the operations of the manufacturers or their own operations are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The document does only consider maintenance of already issued certificates; issuance of new certificates is not considered.
Notified certification bodies should carry out an assessment of the risks presented by the COVID-19 outbreak regarding:
– Effects on manufacturers’ operations
– Effects on the notified certification body’s own operations
– Experience with the manufacturer
– Actual surveillance phase
The risk assessment should focus particularly on the effectiveness of the verification of constancy of performance carried out by the manufacturer, i.e. the risk of construction products placed on the market without having the declared performance.
Below is listed a number of possible measures which notified certification bodies may decide upon on the basis of the risk assessment.
– Business as usual
– Postponing audits
– Additional AVCP activities
– Extraordinary audits
– Restriction, suspension or withdrawal of certificates
When deciding on measures, the principle of proportionality shall apply. Hence, notified certification bodies should choose the least onerous measures consistent with the risks identified. For instance, certificates should not be restricted, suspended, or withdrawn only because the notified certification bodies for the time being is prevented from visiting the manufacturing plant. The notified certification body should document their decisions and the basis upon which they were taken. As notified bodies are required to operate with transparency as regards the manufacturer, the notified certification body should inform the manufacturer about which measures is intends to apply.