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The Directive aims to harmonise the provisions of Member States' national legislation concerning lifts and their safety components. It is based on the principles of the "New Approach to Technical Harmonisation and Standards". In line with this new approach, the design and manufacture of lifts and their safety components is subject to essential health and safety requirements.


European Parliament and Council Directive 95/16/EC of 29 June 1995 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to lifts [See amending acts].


This Directive applies to lifts * permanently serving buildings and constructions and the safety components used in such lifts.

Essential requirements

The Directive defines the essential requirements which must be met by lifts and their safety components in manufacture and prior to being placed on the market.

All lifts or safety components manufactured in conformity with the harmonised standards are presumed to conform to the essential health and safety requirements.

Harmonised standards

Harmonised European standards are drawn up by the European standardisation bodies on the basis of the essential requirements. The details of these non-binding standards are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

All safety components manufactured in conformity with the harmonised standards are presumed to be such that the lifts in which they are installed satisfy the essential requirements concerned.

Conformity assessment and the CE conformity mark

Conformity assessment of lifts and safety components is carried out by:

  • either the bodies designated by Member States in accordance with minimum assessment criteria and notified to the Commission and other Member States;
  • or the manufacturers themselves.

Before being placed on the market, lifts and safety components must have the CE conformity mark affixed which:

  • attests to conformity with this Directive;
  • consists of a uniform graphic symbol, the CE mark;
  • is affixed by the manufacturers or their authorised representative established in the Community.

Where a notified body is involved in the production inspection phase, its identification number is incorporated in the CE mark.

Where lifts or safety components are subject to other Directives providing for the affixing of the CE mark, the latter indicates that they also conform to the provisions of those Directives.

The "Machinery" Directive

The Directive 2006/42/EC aims to ensure the free movement of machines and their accessories whilst laying down essential requirements regarding the health and safety of consumers. In this context, it amends the present Directive given that the application of the Directive on machinery designed for lifting persons calls for a clearer distinction between the products covered by the two directives.

Key terms used in the act
  • 'lift' shall mean an appliance serving specific levels, having a car moving along guides which are rigid and inclined at an angle of more than 15 degrees to the horizontal and intended for the transport of:
    1. persons;
    2. persons and goods;
    3. goods alone if the car is accessible, that is to say, a person may enter it without difficulty, and fitted with controls situated inside the car or within reach of a person inside.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 95/16/EC27.9.19951.7.1997OJ L 213 of 7.9.1995
Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1882/200320.11.2003-OJ L 284 of 31.10.2003
Directive 2006/42/EC29.6.200629.6.2008OJ L 157 of 9.6.2006

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 95/16/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version  is for reference purpose only.


Commission communication in the framework of the implementation of the Directive 2006/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2006 on machinery, and amending Directive 95/16/EC Text with EEA relevance (Publication of titles and references of harmonised standards under the directive) [Official Journal C 110 of 8.4.2011].
This communication publishes the lists of titles and references of European standards meeting the essential requirements set out in the Directive. It replaces all the previous lists published in the Official Journal.

Notified bodies
The NANDO database helps the user find the European notified bodies as well as third country bodies which are responsible for carrying out the conformity assessment procedures referred to in the New Approach directives.

Last updated: 14.06.2011

See also

  • Further information is available on the European Commission Enterprise DG website
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