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New Legislative Framework

To improve the internal market for goods and strengthen the conditions for placing a wide range of products on the EU Market, the New Legislative Framework was adopted in 2008. It is a package of measures that aim to improve market surveillance and boost the quality of conformity assessments. It also clarifies the use of CE marking and creates a toolbox of measures for use in product legislation.

What does the package provide?

The package reinforces the application and enforcement of internal market legislation. It:

  • improves market surveillance rules to better protect both consumers and professionals from unsafe products, including those imported from outside the EU. In particular, this applies to procedures for products which can pose danger to health or the environment;
  • sets clear and transparent rules for the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies;
  • boosts the quality of and confidence in the conformity assessment of products through stronger and clearer rules on the requirements for the notification of conformity assessment bodies;
  • clarifies the meaning of CE marking and enhances its credibility;
  • establishes a common legal framework for industrial products in the form of a toolbox of measures for use in future legislation. This includes definitions of terms commonly used in product legislation, and procedures to allow future sectorial legislation to become more consistent and easier to implement.

The package consists of:

  • Regulation (EC) 765/2008 setting out the requirements for accreditation and the market surveillance of products;
  • Decision 768/2008 on a common framework for the marketing of products, which includes reference provisions to be incorporated whenever product legislation is revised. In effect, it is a template for future product harmonisation legislation;
  • Regulation (EC) 764/2008 laying down procedures relating to the application of certain national technical rules to products lawfully marketed in another EU country.

Alignment of product legislation

A main objective of the Commission is to bring product harmonisation legislation in line with the reference provisions of Decision 768/2008/EC. In February 2014, an "Alignment Package" consisting of the following eight directives was adopted. It was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 29 March 2014.

  1. Low Voltage Directive - 2014/35/EU;
  2. Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive: 2014/30/EU;
  3. ATEX Directive - 2014/34/EU;
  4. Lifts Directive - 2014/33/EU;
  5. Simple Pressure Vessels Directive - 2014/29/EU;
  6. Measuring Instruments Directive - 2014/32/EU;
  7. Non-automatic Weighing Instruments Directive - 2014/31/EU;
  8. Civil Explosives Directive - 2014/28/EU.

In addition, aligned legislation has also been adopted in the areas of Pyrotechnic Articles (Directive 2013/29/EU), Toy Safety (2009/48/EU), Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (2011/65/EU), Recreational Craft (2013/53/EU), Radio Equipment (2014/53/EU), Pressure Equipment (2014/68/EU) and Marine Equipment (2014/90/EU). Further aligning proposals are pending on Medical Devices, Gas Appliances, Cableways, and Personal Protective Equipment.