The European Commission has identified noise as one of the most pressing problems in urban areas across Europe and stressed the need to take action on various sources of noise, as part of its Environmental Action Plan in 1993.
The subsequent ‘Future Noise Policy’ sets out steps for the development of a Directive to specifically regulate noise created by outdoor equipment.
The Outdoor Noise Equipment Directive 2000/14/EC regulates noise emissions into the environment from outdoor equipment.
Some 57 types of equipment are named in the Directive. It refers mainly to outdoor machinery, such as those used on construction sites or in parks and gardens.
The Directive has been amended by Directive 2005/88/EC and by Regulation (EC) No 219/2009:
Almost all of the 57 types of equipment are also within the scope of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and both directives address issues arising from noise emissions. However, the Machinery Directive focuses on the occupational safety of the operator (amongst other things) and the OND on the overall environmental effects.
In 2013-14 the Commission explored the case for a merger between the two directives but concluded that they should remain separate. This conclusion was accepted by stakeholders and so a complete revision of the OND will now be undertaken.
As a first step, a study is underway on how the existing limit values for noise might be updated, and also how they might in future be applied to equipment currently not subjected to limits but only to marking. The study began in April 2015 and will report at the beginning of 2016.
Further information about this study, and on the revision process more widely, can be obtained by contacting GROW-DIR-NOISE@ec.europa.eu.
Following Directive 2000/14/EC, manufacturers are legally obliged produce an EC Declaration of Conformity (DoC) with equipment – which states that the equipment conforms with the provisions of this directive, as well as any other relevant directives.
The European Commission services has developed an electronic form for EC Declaration of Conformity called ‘NOISE’, which is an on-line tool for manufacturers, authorised representatives, Member States and Notified Bodies to send and manage DoCs.
The Noise Database according to Article 16(4) of Directive 2000/14/EC is available.
This information has been compiled by the Commission in order to fulfil its obligation under this Article of the Directive. It is updated annually.
Users of the database will want to be aware that whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the data provided errors may exist.