New rules for pressure equipment: Fairer, safer, simpler

pressure vessels

Stringent requirements are in place to ensure the safety of pressure equipment. Nevertheless, due to inconsistencies and loopholes in the existing rules, potentially harmful and non-compliant products have managed to find their way into the marketplace, leading to a loss of trust among consumers. The European Commission has proposed a set of common principles which will guarantee safer products and simplify the internal market, thus making life easier for European businesses. Pressure equipment plays an important role in industrial processes, affecting a wide range of products such as storage containers, steam generators, boilers, industrial piping and power station installations. Under European internal market legislation, pressure equipment and assemblies must be safe; meet essential safety requirements regarding design, manufacture and testing; satisfy appropriate conformity assessment procedures; and carry the CE marking – which represents Conformité Européenne, or ‘European Conformity’. However, due to certain weaknesses and inconsistencies in the implementation of the pressure equipment legislation, non-compliant or potentially harmful products have appeared on the market. Trust in the CE marking – which is designed to ensure that products meet certain requirements – has consequently been damaged, and honest entrepreneurs are disadvantaged. Moreover, conformity assessment bodies, which assess whether a product meets EU legislative requirements, are designated differently by national authorities. The European Commission recognised these issues and has now proposed to align the Pressure Equipment Directive with the ‘New Legislative Framework’ for product marketing. This should help to overcome conflicting or overlapping requirements for products governed by more than one piece of legislation. More coherent rules across all product sectors will lower compliance costs for businesses, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The proposal will ensure easier market access while both guaranteeing a high level of safety and making life easier for businesses. Key advancement includes: Clearer responsibilities for manufacturers, importers … Read More

Have your say: Evaluation of the Pressure Equipment Directive 97/23/EC

The primary objective of the Pressure Equipment Directive is to guarantee free circulation of stationary pressure equipment within the Internal Market whilst ensuring a high degree of safety. It is now over nine years since the Directive entered into force and the European Commission is evaluating its performance. The evaluation is being conducted by the Centre for Strategy & Evaluation Services (CSES). A report on the evaluation will be made available on the DG Enterprise and Industry website later in Autumn 2012. As part of the Evaluation, CSES is collecting information from businesses and stakeholders about their perceptions of the performance of the Pressure Equipment Directive. The survey should take 10-15 minutes to complete. There are two surveys, one for businesses involved in the production/ use of pressure equipment and one for stakeholders e.g. notified bodies, government authorities, standardisation experts or bodies, pressure equipment experts or institution and other stakeholders.

European Commission updates list of European Harmonized Standards for the Pressure Equipment Directive (97/23/EC) and Simple Pressure Vessels Directive (2009/105/EC)

Wednesday April 11 was a busy day for the European Commission. Besides the list of harmonized standards for the EMC Directive (2004/108/EC) and Radio and Telecommunication Terminal Equipment (RTTE) Directive (99/05/EC), the Commission also published updates to the lists of the European harmonized standards that pertain to the Pressure Equipment Directive (97/23/EC) and the Simple Pressure Vessels Directive (2009/105/EC). The standards on these list may be used by pressure equipment manufacturers to prove that their equipment complies with the essential requirements of these directives.