APA Guidelines

Wood-Based Products in UK & EU Construction

The Guidelines section is where we provide up-to-date information on the structural standards and regulations in the UK and EU that engineered wood products must comply with. There are also different conformity assessment rules depending on whether panels are entering EU countries or Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Recent changes mean that importers face greater responsibility for checking the source of any products, ensuring they have written evidence that the timber is not illegally harvested – and the value of having chain of custody certification (CoC) from a recognised independent body such as FSC or PEFC.  

How to identify the standards you need

We’ve created an interactive database, Find Your Standard, for plywood, OSB and LVL. This brings together all the relevant information you need to identify which standards apply to specific products and applications.

As UK and EU standards currently don’t diverge in their principles, and to make the database easy to use, we have created a combined title for each standard – keeping the main part of the title the same, simply adding (BS) to denote it is the same for ‘British Standards’ as it is for the EU.

You can find out when standards are reviewed, here.

For I-joists, it is a little different as there is still no EU standard or UK standard. Instead, you need a European Assessment Document (EAD). Until there is a UK version, the same EAD applies to both geographies. More.

Find Your Standard

Start by indicating the type of user you are – architect or specifier, builder or end user. Then, select your engineered wood product and how you want to use it. Is it for floors, walls, roofing or even in a non-structural application?

Standards by Category

Structural products in the EU and UK have to comply with specific standards. Just select your product, application and performance characteristics and Find your Standard tells you what they are.

(BS) EN 335:2013 and Moisture Content

The updated (BS) EN 335:2013 defines five use classes that represent different service situations to which wood and wood-based products can be exposed.

EAD for I-joists

Each construction product used in the UK and EU requires a CE Mark or UKCA and must first be independently assessed before this mark of conformity is granted. This ensures that the product complies with the relevant standards.

Check Your Mark of Approval

The decision on a product’s mark of approval depends on whether you are placing goods in EU countries, Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) or Northern Ireland.

Construction Product Regulations

The original EU Construction Products Regulation (EU-CPR) set down greater legal responsibilities for manufacturers, importers and suppliers and made it mandatory for wood-based panels to be CE marked.

Basic Requirements for Construction Works

The expanded Basic Requirements for Construction Works (BRCW) reflect growing awareness of the environmental impact of structural practices and the products used.

Illegal Timber Imports

The US operates some of the most stringent and regulated forestation practices in the world. The Lacey Act is a 1900 US law that banned trafficking in illegal wildlife.

Changes to Standards & Regulations

This is the overall harmonised/designated standard for the use of plywood, OSB and LVL in construction, defining their performance characteristic and test methods.

US Standards for Wood-Based Panels

There are two product standards covering the manufacture of US wood-based panel products.  This is specified on a trademarked panel.

UK Structural Timber Specification

The National Structural Timber Specification (NSTS) refers to the use of structural timber wherever UK building regulations apply. A similar specification is already in place for steel and concrete.