European Directives for industrial products

The New Legal Framework and the «Alignment Package»

On February 26 a package of eight Directives has been adopted and then published on March 29 in the Official Journal of the European Union.

by P. Capellini

Called «Alignment Package» it includes those Directives which have been aligned to the requirements of the Decision 768/2008/EC, with the aim of reaching a legislation harmonization for industrial products.

The eight aligned Directives are among the most important European Directives applying to industrial products; with the alignment such Directives have changed their references, which now become the following:

Issue by the European Parliament and of the Council of February 26, 2014, they all aim at the harmonization of the laws of the Member States related to…

Low Voltage Directive: Directive 2014/35/EU relating to the making available on the market of electrical equipment designed for the use within certain voltage limits.

Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive: Directive 2014/30/EU relating to electromagnetic compatibility (recast).

ATEX Directive: Directive 2014/34/EU relating to equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (recast).

Lifts Directive: Directive 2014/33/EU relating to lifts and safety components for lifts.

Simple Pressure Vessels Directive: Directive 2014/29/EU relating to the making available on the market of simple pressure vessels.

Measuring Instruments Directive: Directive 2014/32/EU relating to the making available on the market of measuring instruments (recast).

Non-automatic Weighing Instruments Directive: Directive 2014/31/EU relating to the making available on the market of non-automatic weighing instruments.

Civil Explosion Directive: Directive 2014/28/EU relating to the making available on the market and supervision of explosive for civil uses (recast).

The Directives above shall be transposed into national law by all Member States and become applicable starting from April, 20 2016.

The «New Legislative Framework»

The Decision 768/2008/EC used for the alignment process is part of the so called «New Legislative Framework» which includes measures to reinforce the application of existing internal market legislation, to improve the quality of market surveillance especially for what concerns importing from third countries, to define new accreditation rules for notified bodies involved in product conformity assessment, to build up a common legal framework for all the existing industrial products legislations and for the future one.

The «New Legislative Framework» lists together Decision 768/2008/EC and also Regulation 765/2008/EC on accreditation, market surveillance and marking of products and Regulation 764/2008/EC on mutual recognition for products not subject to EU harmonization; whilist the two Regulations are directly applicable, Decision 768/2008/EC may be seen as a toolbox to be used for the alignment of existing and future piece of legislation.

Due to the new requirements introduced by the New Legislative Framework and by the Lisbon Treaty, also the Blue Guide has been updated to reflect these changes: the basis is still the Blue Guide year 2000 edition, but some chapters have been added such as the one on economic operators and accreditation bodies obligations, and other chapters have been completely revised, such as those on standardization and market surveillance.