Looking ahead to the new Machinery Directive

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TRL Compliance offers some pointers towards the forthcoming changes to the European Machinery Directive.

The current EC Machinery Directive, 98/37/EC, is to be replaced by the New Machinery Directive, 2006/42/EC, with effect from 29 December 2009.

The objectives of the changes to the directive are to:

  • Clarify the scope of the Machinery Directive and its relationship with other directives
  • Introduce changes to enforcement (surveillance) and the appointment of Notified Bodies
  • Clarify the meaning of some of the terminology
  • Extend the scope as far as possible
  • Introduce additions to the Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) as defined in Annex 1 of the Directive

In addition, the Technical File (TF) must be compiled in Europe, and the Declaration of Conformity (DoC) must include the name and address of the person who is authorised to compile the technical file - and they must be established in the EU.

Manufacturers not based in the EU can appoint a 'person' in the EU (who can be a body, company or organisation) to act as the TF compiler.

The relationship with the Low Voltage Directive (LVD) has been clarified. Whereas the old Machinery Directive (98/37/EC) stated that where machinery risks were mainly electrical the LVD (73/23/EC) should be applied, the new Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC) states that the LVD applies to specific types of equipment. The two Directives (MSD and LVD) will become mutually exclusive but, for electrical equipment, the EHSRs of the LVD will become part of the requirements for the Machinery Directive.

Another change is that all lifting gear is now included, unless specifically excluded by the Lifts Directive (95/16/EC).

For more information about the new machinery directive, email Chris Rouse at or visit

07 November 2007

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