Member States have shown a real willingness to correct and improve European regulations on machinery. This was revealed in the 2019 public inquiry report. And Member States have sent proposals to this effect directly to the European Commission.
The impact assessment of the revision of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC highlighted in particular the concern about the adequacy of this text with two major themes: man/robot collaboration and artificial intelligence (AI).
The proposals of the Member States sent directly to the European Commission to amend the Machinery Directive, which go well beyond the objectives proposed by the latter, concern :
- taking better account of new technologies, in particular AI, robotics and software updates;
- redefinition of the exclusions from the Machinery Directive, in particular by removing the exclusion from the High-pressure Equipment Directive, as well as equipment for amusement parks, and by specifying the exclusion of equipment for nuclear energy production industries;
- the deletion of the concept of partly completed machinery, or the modification of its definition;
- the revision of certain essential health and safety requirements, in particular the risk of radiation emissions, the chemical risk and the digitalisation of instruction manuals;
revision of the list of machinery in Annex IV (extension of the list, recasting by risk, or deletion of Annex IV) and removal of the possibility of self-certification by the manufacturer in the event of application of a harmonised standard.
These proposals, as well as the economic impact for some of them, have been summarised by the European Commission. In some cases, Member States have proposed amendments on similar points but with different solutions. The Commission’s document provides an overview of the potential scenarios.