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Directive 2006/42/EC on Machinery

The Directive 2006/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2006 is a European Union directive concerning machinery and certain parts of machinery.

Its main intent is to ensure a common safety level in machinery placed on the market or put in service in all member states and to ensure freedom of movement within the European Union by stating that "member states shall not prohibit, restrict or impede the placing on the market and/or putting into service in their territory of machinery which complies with [the] Directive".

European economic directives

Economic directives apply to products. They were taken under the new approach in order to facilitate the free movement of goods and products in the European Union by removing barriers to trade in the European market. The particularity of these guidelines is that they set the basic requirements or Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSR) that apply to all manufacturers who wish to put their products on the European market. If a product meets the essential health and safety requirements, then the product can be placed on the market.

One way of demonstrating compliance with the Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSR) can be done through compliance with harmonized European standards or any other solution that allows to demonstrate a similar level of safety.

Machinery Directive is therefore part of the economic guidelines. It applies to products designed to be sold (or enabled) in the European Union for the first time. It is intended for manufacturers, importers and dealers of machinery and safety components and applies to new machines. This directive harmonizing the level of safety of products designed and manufactured by different manufacturers. The already installed machines are outside the scope of this Directive, because they are already on the market. Regarding the resale of used machines of national regulations describe the procedures to be followed.

Scope

The directive applies to machinery as well as interchangeable equipment, safety components, lifting accessories, chains/ropes/webbing, removable mechanical transmission devices and partly completed machinery.

Machinery that is covered by more specific directives is excluded from the scope. This includes

  • agricultural and forestall tractors
  • motor vehicles and their trailers
  • certain electric and electronic products such as household appliances or office equipment