The machinery sector is an important part of the engineering industry. Machinery consists of an assembly of components, at least one of which moves, joined together for a specific application. The drive system of machinery is powered by energy other than human or animal effort.
Coronavirus response in relation to additive manufacturing capacity
The additive manufacturing (AM) sector helps mitigate several COVID-19 effects because it can quickly introduce additional industrial capacities to fabricate missing goods. The additive manufacturing process is also known as ‘3D printing’ (3DP) because it uses 3D printers to manufacture a wide range of products for different applications. 3D printed products themselves may also be used to produce medical devices. At the moment, there are examples of the use of 3D printing machinery tools to fabricate constituents of lung ventilators for Intensive Care Units. To help industry and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) explore the industrial capacities offered by additive manufacturing processes, we summarised frequently asked questions.
In the spotlight
EU machinery legislation
One of the main legislations governing the harmonisation of essential health and safety requirements for machinery at EU level is the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC
- promotes the free movement of machinery within the single market
- guarantees a high level of protection for EU workers and citizens
As it is a 'new approach' directive, it promotes harmonisation through a combination of mandatory health and safety requirements and voluntary harmonised standards. The machinery directive only applies to products that are to be placed on the EU market for the first time.
The machinery directive 2006/42/EC was published on 9 June 2006 and became applicable on 29 December 2009. It was amended by Directive 2009/127/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009, with regard to machinery for pesticide application, and by Regulation (EU) No 167/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 February 2013 on the approval and market surveillance of agricultural and forestry vehicles, among others. Read the consolidated text of the directive.
- Edition 2.2 (update of the 2nd edition) of the guide to application of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC(4 MB) was endorsed by the machinery committee and issued in October 2019
- German translation of the guide to application of the Machinery Directive (Please note that this is a third-party translation and the Commission accepts no responsibility or liability for its contents)
- Application guide: ergonomic health and safety requirements (3 MB)
This document provides guidance on the application of the essential health and safety requirements relating to ergonomics in section 1.1.6 of annex I to the machinery directive and the corresponding harmonised standards.
- Evaluation of Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC (2 MB) Press release
- Public consultation: Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC (September-December 2016)
- Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC: evaluation study (4 MB)
- Consolidated minutes of the machinery working group (6 MB) from 1997 onwards
- Machinery standardisation: European harmonised standards under Directive 2006/42/EC
- Contact points (391 kB)
Revision of the Machinery Directive
The Machinery Directive is the core European legislation regulating products of the mechanical engineering industries. The staff working document, SWD(2018)160, details the conclusion of the Machinery Directive's performance evaluation.
The evaluation shows that the directive is relatively flexible to technological developments in the digital era, thanks to its 'new approach' underpinnings. Furthermore, it is generally relevant, effective, efficient, coherent and has EU added value.
However, some of its provisions require better legal clarity and improved coherence with other legislation. Several administrative requirements that affect the Directive's efficiency could also use simplification. Finally, the evaluation indicates that the directive's effectiveness has been affected by shortcomings in monitoring and enforcement. The revision process is currently ongoing.
- Full process of the revision of the Machinery Directive
- Impact assessment study on the revision of the Machinery Directive
- Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on machinery products
- Bodies notified under Directive 2006/42/EC: Machinery in the NANDO information system (new approach notified and designated organisations)
- European coordination of notified bodies - Technical secretariat of notified bodies for machinery
Nederlands Normalisatie-Instituut (NEN)
2623 AX Delft (The Netherlands)
Mr Okke-Jaap Prent
Tel.: +31 15 2690 156
'Recommendation for use' (RfU) sheets
The following 'recommendation for use' sheets reflect the common position of the notified bodies in the machinery sector. They have been endorsed by the machinery working group. Their purpose is to assist notified bodies in their tasks of conformity assessment of machinery, mainly for the EC type-examination procedure, in accordance with the terms of the machinery directive. All stakeholders involved in the implementation of the directive should be aware of the existence of this information
- Horizontal RfU sheets are prefixed by 00 and apply to all types of machinery listed in annex IV of the machinery directive
- Horizontal RfUs (April 2018) (1 MB)
- Vertical RfU sheets apply more specifically to a particular category of machinery listed in annex IV, e.g. sheets prefixed by 01 deal with woodworking machinery. They are issued by vertical group No 1 of the coordination of notified bodies