Europump supports joint industry statement on Machinery Product Directive10 November 2021

Europump, the body which represents 16 national pump associations in 12 EU member states as well as Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK, has recently lent its support to an industry statement relating to the European Machinery Directive.

On 21 April, the European Commission presented proposals for new regulation on machinery products.

According to Europump, The Machinery Directive is unquestionably the single most important piece of legislation for the European manufacturing industry. Since its original publication in 1989, and subsequent revisions up to 2006, it has effectively provided the highest level of machinery safety in the world, successfully supported the internal market as well as EU competitiveness, and continuously enabled the industry to innovate and thrive. In this context, it is important that the future legislative framework retains the balance between safety and innovation whilst offering the necessary consistency for manufacturers and users alike.

To this end, Europump, along with 17 other trade associations – the co-signatories - have recently produced and issued a joint statement detailing their collective position in relation to five key areas.

In summary, the parties welcome the alignment with the New Legislative Framework (NLF) and its coherence with other legislation. They also stress the importance of respecting the NLF principle of technology-neutral legislation and request a clear transition period.

But they warn against undermining the consensus-based standardisation approach and reject the introduction of mandatory third-party conformity assessment for some machines.

Relevant machinery includes woodworking saws, chainsaws, press brakes with travel greater than 6mm and their interlocks, injection moulding equipment and their interlocks, underground locomotives, underground hydraulic roof supports, ‘removable mechanical transmission devices’, vehicle servicing lifts, goods and passenger lifts with heights of greater than 3m, compressed-air nail guns, light curtains for machinery and machinery guards, ‘logic units to ensure safety functions’, software ensuring safety functions, roll-over protective structures and falling-object protective structures.

As to that last point, they say: “The drastic change of approach to mandatory third-party conformity assessment for all the machinery listed in Annex I would only harm the European industry without bringing any clear benefit. The proposed requirement is: unjustified - There is no evidence that third-party certified machines are any safer than those undergoing internal production control; disproportionate – The European Commission’s cost estimation is largely undervalued as it does not cover the additional costs of resources, logistics, planning or the loss of lead time; uncompetitive – the increased uncertainty, the longer time to market and additional costs will hamper innovation – disadvantaging SMEs while creating incentives for larger companies to move strategic sites to more supportive regions.This approach would also prevent products produced in small series being made available on the market.”

The full statement can be reviewed via the link below.

Operations Engineer

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