Brussels, 15 April 2014
European Commission welcomes European Parliament's approval of new rules for pressure equipment
The European Parliament today voted in favour of a Commission proposal to streamline and simplify the rules for pressure equipment products enhancing the internal market and make life for business easier at the same time. The Pressure Equipment Directive covers a very wide range of products from fire extinguishers to industrial equipment such as compressors, heat exchangers, storage vessels and piping constituting large and complex assemblies use in manufacturing and process industries. The proposal will introduce more coherent rules which will lower compliance costs for businesses, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. This will include clearer responsibilities for manufacturers, importers and distributors selling products. Product safety will be improved through better traceability which will allow tracking down defective or unsafe products. Authorities will be better equipped to stop dangerous products imported from third countries through improved national market surveillance. The proposal will therefore make product safety more effective across the EU. It is now up to the EU Member States to adopt their position in the Council.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "Today’s vote updating the Pressure Equipment Directive is yet another initiative to streamline EU product legislation leading to reductions in administrative burden and costs. Common rules for industrial products allow manufacturers to have more legal certainty. They can better organise their manufacturing processes, enhance the quality and safety of products and invest in innovation. It will lead to a strengthening of the single market helping businesses to grow".
Costs for enterprises will be lowered
The proposal voted today will reduce administrative burden and costs. They can better organize their manufacturing processes, enhance the quality and safety of products and invest in innovation.
In addition the classification of the pressure equipment is aligned to the new rules for classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals contained by it. It provides legal clarity for manufacturers and users without requiring any technological changes in the design or manufacturing of the equipment while maintaining its current high level of safety.
Pressure equipment is widely used in the process industries (oil and gas, chemical, pharmaceutical, plastics, food and beverage); the high-temperature process industry (glass, paper and board); and in energy production and the supply of utilities (heating, air conditioning and gas storage and transportation).
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’.
This initiative is part of a general effort to make product safety more effective across the EU, to ensure greater consistency and to facilitate complying with the rules throughout all sectors. Similar proposals were recently adopted for eight other industrial sectors (IP/14/111). This should help to overcome conflicting or overlapping requirements for products governed by more than one piece of legislation.