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Mechanical engineering

Directive 2006/42/EC on machinery

  • Directive 2006/42/EC pdf български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) ;
  • Corrigendum pdf български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) : Official Journal L 76, 16.3.2007, p. 35;
  • Amendment related to machinery for pesticide application
  • Directive 2006/42/EC: consolidated text

Workshop: The machinery safety directive: " Consolidating the Internal Market for Machinery"
Brussels, 29th May 2007

The revised Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC does not introduce any radical changes compared with the old Machinery Directive 98/37/EC but aims at consolidating the achievements of the Machinery Directive in terms of free circulation and safety of machinery while improving its application.

Date of application

Directive 2006/42/EC was published on 9th June 2006. It came into force 20 days later on 29th June 2006. The Member States had until 29th June 2008 to adopt and publish the national laws and regulations transposing the provisions of the new Directive into national law.

The provisions of the new Directive became applicable on 29th December 2009.


The scope of the Machinery Directive is extended, since construction-site hoists and cartridge-operated fixing and other impact machinery will no longer be excluded.

The borderline between the Machinery and the Low Voltage Directives is clarified. The distinction will no longer be made on the basis of the "main risk". Instead, the new Machinery Directive lists six categories of electrical machinery that are subject to the Low Voltage Directive - for other electrical machinery, the safety objectives of the Low Voltage Directive apply for the electrical risks, but the obligations concerning conformity assessment and the placing on the market are governed by the Machinery Directive.

The borderline with the Lifts Directive has also been clarified. The new text modifies the scope of the Lifts Directive so that lifts with a travel speed no greater than 0.15 m/s will be excluded from the Lifts Directive and will thus be subject to the Machinery Directive.

The range of safety components subject to the Machinery Directive has been clarified. An indicative list of safety components is given in a new Annex. This list can be updated by the Machinery Committee to cover new products.

Essential health and safety requirements

The essential health and safety requirements have not been subject to major changes, although several of them have been redrafted. Among the significant changes:

  • the requirement relating to risk assessment has been made more explicit;
  • there are new requirements for risks associated with machinery serving fixed landings to take account of the extension of the scope of the Directive to construction site hoists and slow-moving lifts;
  • certain requirements currently applicable to mobile machinery or machinery for lifting are made applicable to all machinery presenting the risk concerned;
  • requirements concerning noise and vibration emissions are made more precise.

Conformity assessment procedures

As under the current Machinery Directive, the conformity of most machinery will continue to be certified by the manufacturer himself.
The list of categories of machinery subject to particular conformity assessment procedures is set out in Annex IV; however, manufacturers of Annex IV machinery will have a wider choice of procedure:

  • for Annex IV machinery designed according to harmonised standards covering all the relevant essential requirements, the manufacturer will be able to certify the conformity of the machinery himself;
  • for other Annex IV machinery, the manufacturer will be able to choose between EC type-examination by a Notified Body or approval by a Notified Body of his full quality assurance system.

The new Machinery Directive includes an obligation for the Member States to monitor the performance of Notified Bodies and to withdraw or suspend the notification if a Body fails to carry out its duties properly.

Market surveillance

The new Machinery Directive sets out more explicitly the duties of the Member States to organise market surveillance. These obligations include cooperation between the market surveillance authorities and respect for confidentiality and transparency.

The new Machinery Directive enables the European Commission to adopt a decision, after consultation of the Machinery Committee, to prohibit or restrict the placing on the market of a category of machines presenting the same risk by virtue of its technical characteristics. This measure is inspired by a similar provision in the General Product Safety Directive.

The review of the New Approach: the New Legislative Framework

The Commission and Council have been carrying out a review of the New Approach to consolidate and improve it, with the New Legislative Framework.

The provisions of the new Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC already include the main elements of the New Legislative Framework.

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