Low Voltage Directive (LVD)
What is it?
The Low Voltage Directive (LVD) 2014/35/EU (formerly 2006/95/EC) ensures the free circulation of electrical products (in the voltage range between 50 V. AC/ 75 V. DC and 1000 V. AC/ 1500 V. DC) provided that these comply with essential safety requirements for all users, whether consumers or workers.
The LVD, which was first established in 1973, was the first European Directive to adopt the so-called ‘New Approach’ regulatory model. This approach consists of essential requirements – on health and safety mostly – set in the law, corresponding compliance procedures proportionate to the product risks and a presumption of conformity with the law where harmonised standards cited in the EU Official Journal are used.
Under the LVD, manufacturers should assess the risks inherent to their products against the essential safety requirements with the aim of preventing electrical shocks, fires, emission of toxic substances, etc… As a result, manufacturers are allowed to affix, the CE marking on the product or its packaging.
Why is it important?
The 'New Approach' gives manufacturers of electrical products the possibility to demonstrate conformity to safety requirements without any mandatory recourse to third-party conformity assessment bodies. Thereby, it establishes the manufacturer’s self-declaration of conformity as one of the stepping stones of the competitiveness of European manufacturers.
The Directive was recently recast-aligned with the New Legislative Framework (NLF) (Decision 768/2008/EC), with effective application from 20 April 2016. It has exactly the same scope and essential requirements as the previous Directive 2006/95/EC. However, economic operators have to comply with some further formal requirements. For more details, please visit the relevant section.
The Directive’s alignment with the New Legislative Framework (NLF) is expected to bring further legal predictability: it requires economic operators to apply the same traceability and compliance information as for other applicable harmonisation legislation and authorities can more easily trace non-compliant products.
Orgalime considers it a great success that the ‘New Approach’ model, which was first used in the LVD, has been expanded to most harmonisation legislation.
How we’ve been engaged
Orgalime actively contributed to the recast-alignment of the LVD with the New Legislative Framework (NLF) and its smooth implementation. We ensured that no changes occurred to the essential requirements and that no excessive administrative burden was added to manufacturers.
At this stage we are providing the expertise of our members to the Commission in drafting the horizontal guidelines of Directives aligned with the New Legislative Framework (Blue Guide) and the LVD guide.
We also regularly provide technical expertise in discussions regarding the application of the LVD through our participation in the relevant advisory committee of the Commission, which is comprised of national market surveillance authorities and stakeholders.