On 26 June, the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) approved the mandate for the Council Presidency to start negotiations with the European Parliament on the proposed Machinery Regulation. The new regulation is intended to replace the 2006 directive. The latter governs the harmonisation of the essential health and safety requirements for machinery and related products in the context of the free movement of products within the European single market. It ensures a high level of protection for European workers and citizens.
The proposed changes
According to the European Council communiqué, the proposed regulation clarifies the scope of the directive. While self-assessment of conformity has been maintained for most products, the mandatory involvement of competent assessment bodies has been retained for only a few. The European Commission will be able to update, by delegated acts, the list of products considered potentially riskier and which will therefore require mandatory involvement of conformity assessment bodies. This ensures a balance between the need to ensure the highest level of safety on the one hand and not to impose disproportionate burdens on industry on the other.
The Council text proposes that the Commission may develop technical specifications where standards are unavailable or unsatisfactory. However, this is only an option of last resort and the Commission will only be able to use it in specific circumstances. The Council’s mandate strikes the right balance between digital and paper documentation.
The other changes to the Commission proposal are:
- terms such as ‘machinery’, ‘related products’, ‘products subject to this regulation’ and ‘substantial modification’ have been clarified;
- the requirement for a third-party conformity assessment for certain categories of products has been clarified
- the text has been decoupled from the forthcoming regulation on artificial intelligence
- the provisions have been aligned consistently with the new legislative framework (NLF).
Read the EUROGIP Focus on the draft Machinery Regulation (in French)