Pressure Equipment Directive

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Pressure Equipment Directive

Legal Framework

The European Parliament and the Council Directive 97/23/EC on pressure equipment (PED) is based on Article 114 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and is one of the main product harmonisation Directives based on the “New Approach” principles. The Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) is transposed into national law by the EU Member States.

This directive has been aligned to the New Legislative Framework (NLF) to simplify and improve the implementation.

The new Directive 2014/68/EU entered into force on 20 July 2016. As of 1 June 2015, the current provisions related to the classification of fluids in the current PED Article 9 were already replaced by Article 13 of the new Directive.

Products covered

The Pressure Equipment Directive covers a very broad range of products such as vessels, pressurised storage containers, heat exchangers, steam generators, boilers, industrial piping, safety devices and pressure accessories. Such equipment is widely used in the process industries (oil & gas, chemical, pharmaceutical, plastics and rubber and the food and beverage industry), high temperature process industry (glass, paper and board), energy production and in the supply of utilities, heating, air conditioning and gas storage and transportation.


The legal framework established by the Pressure Equipment Directive aims to guarantee free movement of these products in the internal market while ensuring a high level of safety.

PED Guidelines

PED Guidelines are established and agreed in the framework of the Commission's Working Group "Pressure". Read more on PED Guidelines.


The Pressure Equipment Directive requires that materials used for pressure equipment - except for equipment according to Article 3.3, where Sound Engineering Practices are to be applied - must fulfil one of three formal requirements (see PED Annex I.4.2b)

More information on materials

  • comply with a Harmonised Material Standard;
  • be covered by a European Approval of Materials (EAM);
  • particular material appraisal (PMA)

The document ‘Guiding principles for the contents of EAM drafts (PE-01-01 latest revision) (56 kB)’ , describes the requirements of EAMs.

Standard form for EAM application (58 kB).

The document ‘Guiding principles for the content of PMA (PE 03-28), latest revision’ (93 kB) , describes the requirements on PMAs (Particular Materials Appraisals)

For more information on EAM applications and their status, please contact the Commission services.

Essential Requirements

The Pressure Equipment Directive contains in its Annex I the Essential Requirements that a pressure equipment or assembly must meet when placed and/or put into service on the EU market. It does not indicate how these requirements must be met, thus leaving flexibility to manufacturers as regards technical solutions to be adopted.

Harmonised Standards

A general introduction to the concept and background of European standards produced by CEN can be found on the CEN website.

More information on harmonised standards

A section is devoted to European Standards in the pressure sector including information on the CEN Technical Committees, the Pressure Equipment Advisory Nucleus Group (PE-AN), and maintenance helpdesks for the main harmonised standards (unfired pressure vessels EN 13445 and metallic industrial piping EN13480).

In order to facilitate market access, Harmonised Standards, the reference numbers of which have been published in the Official Journal of the EU, provide a presumption of conformity with the directive's essential requirements.

Conformity Assessment

The PED requires third party involvement in the conformity assessment of products depending on the level of the hazard. The list of the Notified Bodies, User Inspectorates and Recognised Third Party Organisations notified by the Member States can be searched on the NANDO web site.

Market surveillance

Market surveillance and the surveillance of Conformity Assessment Bodies in the pressure equipment sector is a national responsibility. A dedicated working group PED ADCO (Administrative Cooperation) reinforces cooperation between the Members of the European Economic Area. This group meets regularly with the participation of national administrations and the European Commission.

More information on the group's meetings

The meetings serve to:

  • establish communication channels between national authorities;
  • exchange views and promote cooperation on individual cases and solving practical problems;
  • inform each other of national methods and activities to develop and promote best practices throughout the European Economic Area.

The current chair of the group is held by the German authorities represented by Mr Michael BORZEL Thuringian State Office for Consumer Protection, michael.borzel@tlv.thueringen.de.


PED Evaluation study

An independent evaluation of the Pressure Equipment Directive was performed in 2011-2012. The purpose of the evaluation has been to assess how, and to what extent, the Directive has met its objective of guaranteeing free circulation of stationary pressure equipment within the EU while ensuring a high degree of safety.

The evaluation study and the executive summary of the study

PED-CLP Impact assessment study

The Impact Assessment Study on the alignment of the Pressure Equipment Directive to the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation (1MB) was conducted in 2012-2013.

The study analysed the impact of the changes required to Article 9 of the PED Directive in view of the classification of the fluids on the basis of the CLP Regulation, which replaced the classification under the Dangerous Substances Directive 67/548/EEC (DSD).

The CLP Regulation is implementing the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals in the EU. The CLP Regulation replaced the Dangerous Substances Directive after a transitional period that ended on 31 May 2015.

Comparative Study on Pressure Equipment Standards – European harmonised standard for unfired pressure vessels (EN 13445)

This study comparing the total costs of pressure equipment designed using the European harmonised standard for unfired pressure vessels (EN 13445) with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler & Pressure Vessel (ASME Section VIII) code (594 kB), has underlined the economic viability of the European standard.