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Electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits

The rules relating to low-voltage electrical equipment in the Member States often differ, thus impeding the free movement of this of equipment. This Directive therefore aims at further harmonisation of the safety requirements with which this equipment must comply in order to move freely in the internal market.

ACT

Directive 2006/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on the harmonisation of the laws of Member States relating to electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits (codified version) (Text with EEA relevance).

SUMMARY

This Directive aims at ensuring that electrical equipment may be placed on the market only if it does not, when installed and maintained, endanger the safety of persons, domestic animals or property, and at promoting the free movement of this equipment in the European Union.

Scope

This Directive applies to electrical equipment designed for use with a voltage rating of between 50 and 1000 Volts for alternating current and between 75 and 1500 Volts for direct current.

It does not apply to:

  • electrical equipment for use in an explosive atmosphere;
  • equipment for radiology and medical purposes;
  • electrical parts for goods and passenger lifts;
  • electricity meters;
  • plugs and socket outlets for domestic use;
  • electric fence controllers;
  • radio-electrical interference;
  • electrical equipment for use on ships, aircraft or railways;
  • electrical equipment intended for export to third countries.

Safety objectives

Electrical equipment may be placed on the market if it complies with the safety objectives laid down in Annex I to this Directive concerning:

  • general safety conditions applying to equipment;
  • hazards arising from electrical equipment;
  • hazards caused by external influences on electrical equipment.

The free movement of electrical equipment must not be hindered if it meets the safety objectives defined in the Directive. Manufacturers may choose how they comply with safety objectives.

Presumption of conformity

Electrical equipment which complies with the provisions of the harmonised standards should be subject to a presumption of conformity with the safety objectives established by this Directive and be able to move freely.

Standards shall be regarded as harmonised if they are drawn up by common agreement between the bodies notified by the Member States and published under national procedures. Their references shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

If standards have not yet been harmonised, Member States should take measures to ensure that their competent administrative authorities regard electrical equipment as complying with the safety objectives of the Directive if the electrical equipment complies with the safety provisions of the International Commission on the Rules for the Approval of Electrical Equipment (CEEel) or of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

If harmonised standards or safety provisions do not yet exist, Member States shall take measures to ensure that their competent administrative authorities regard electrical equipment as complying with the safety objectives of the Directive if the electrical equipment is in accordance with the safety standards in force in the Member State of manufacture.

Placing on the market

Before placing electrical equipment on the market:

  • the manufacturer or his authorised representative established in the European Union must affix the “CE” marking to each product and draw up a written “EC” declaration of conformity;
  • the manufacturer must establish the technical documentation.

The “EC” declaration of conformity must contain:

  • the name and address of the manufacturer or his authorised representative established in the European Union;
  • a description of the electrical equipment;
  • a reference to the harmonised standards;
  • if required, references to the specifications with which conformity is declared;
  • identification of the signatory who has been empowered to enter into commitments on behalf of the manufacturer or his authorised representative established in the European Union;
  • the last two digits of the year in which the “CE” marking was affixed.

Safeguard

If, for safety reasons, a Member State prohibits the placing on the market of any electrical equipment or impedes its free movement, it shall inform the Commission and the other Member States concerned.

The Directive codifies and repeals Directive 73/23/EEC.

REFERENCE

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2006/95/EC

16.1.2007

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OJ L374 of 27.12.2006

Last updated: 27.01.2010
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