Machinery Directive (MD)
What is it?
The Machinery Directive (MD) is the core European legislation regulating mechanical engineering products. In the Directive, machinery is described as "an assembly, fitted with or intended to be fitted with a drive system other than directly applied human or animal effort, consisting of linked parts or components, at least one of which moves, and which are joined together for a specific application". The current Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC) has been in force since 29 December 2009.
The Machinery Directive provides the regulatory basis for the harmonisation of the essential health and safety requirements applicable to machinery at EU level. Before placing a machine on the EU market, the manufacturer has to drew up a technical file and to ensure that his machinery complies with the Directive through an assessment process. Afterwards, the manufacturer or his authorised representative has to draw up a Declaration of Conformity (or a Declaration of Incorporation for partially completed equipment). After CE marking the product, the machinery may be placed on the market.
Why is it important?
For the industries of the mechanical engineering sector, the Machinery Directive is one of the most important pieces of legislation. It ensures that machinery placed on the EU market fulfil their aims: to promote the free movement of goods (machinery) within the European Union and to guarantee a high level of protection to European workers and citizens.
Orgalime welcomes any initiative aiming at reducing technical barriers to trade. The Machinery Directive is well implemented in the member states, which also provides legal certainty for our industries.
How we’ve been engaged
Orgalime plays a prominent role in the correct implementation of the Machinery Directive through participating as industry representative in the Editorial group of the Commission in charge of drafting both the first and second interpretation guide on the Machinery Directive. Most of the comments provided by Orgalime were adopted by the Commission. We have also continued to gather all interpretation questions from industry representatives and found an industry consensus on most of them.
Orgalime continues to act as the interface between the mechanical engineering industry and the European institutions. It has a mandate to serve as the interpretation platform for regulators for all concrete questions of interpretation regarding the application of the Directive at a European level.
In 2013, the Commission launched a study aiming at assessing the possibility to integrate the requirements of 'noise' from the Outdoor Equipment Directive into the Machinery Directive. Orgalime and its members, including European Sectors Committees, have highlighted their concerns against a possible merger of both directives. The final external interim report to the Commission concluded that the requirements of both directives should not be integrated. Instead, it recommended a stand-alone revision of the outdoor Noise Directive.
- Machinery Directive
- European Commission website on the Machinery Directive
- Interpretation Guide on the Machinery Directive