Lifts provide an essential means of comfortable and safe access to different floors in buildings. The installation of lifts in new or existing buildings has an increasingly important role to play in an ageing society. It supports the social integration of people with special needs and offers freedom of access to people with reduced mobility.
The Lifts Directive 2014/33/EU permits the free circulation of lifts and safety components for lifts within the internal EU market and ensures a high level of safety for lift users and maintenance staff.
With regard to access to cars for disabled people, EU countries are encouraged to take any national measures necessary to ensure that all levels of existing buildings, as well as those under construction are accessible to disabled people, particularly those who use wheelchairs.
It is recommended that at least one lift accessible to disabled people in wheelchairs be provided in all new buildings. Furthermore, the lift must fulfil all regulatory requirements (as regards dimensions, position of controls, etc.)
The safety of existing lifts (those installed prior to the Lifts Directive 95/16/EC coming into force) is subject to national regulations.
Commission Recommendation of 8 June 1995 concerning improvement of safety of existing lifts (95/216/EC) invites EU countries to take all necessary actions to ensure a satisfactory level of maintenance for existing lifts and to improve the safety of these lifts.
The Recommendation is not legally binding and is implemented by the EU countries in light of the situation and provisions existing at national level.
European harmonised standards for Directive 2014/33/EU are produced by the European Standardisation Organisation: the European Committee for Standardization - CEN (Technical Committee CEN/TC 10 ). Their references are published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
These 'technical sheets for coordination' report the common position of the Notified Bodies& – sector Lifts – approved by the Expert Group 'NB-L' and endorsed by the Lifts Working Group.