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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 12 May 2014

Streamlining and simplifying the rules for gas appliances will further improve their safety

The European Commission today proposed to replace the gas appliances directive governing the safety of gas-fired appliances and related safety, regulating and controlling devices by directly applicable regulation. This means that the 28 pieces of national legislation transposing the current directive will be replaced by one single piece of legislation, which will be available in all official languages of the EU. Examples of gas appliances are cookers, stoves, radiant heaters, instantaneous hot water heaters, gas lights and central heating boilers. Consequently, the legislation covers a very wide range of common consumer and commercial products from simple camping type equipment to heating boilers for big building blocks. Only gas appliances used in industrial processes are not covered.

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.

European Commissioner Michel Barnier, acting Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "The proposal to update the gas appliances 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".

Gas safety will be further enhanced

The gas safety will be further enhanced by improving and clarifying the requirements each gas appliance has to fulfil. For instance, in order to increase the inherent safety of products, the regulation will require that the manufacturers always have to avoid or reduce the risks instead of using only warnings alone. The safety requirements each appliance must meet will be updated in order to respond to technological progress to ensure compatibility with new innovative technologies and increasing use of gaseous fuels from renewable sources.

Costs for enterprises will be lowered

More coherent rules across all product sectors will lower compliance costs for businesses, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (IP/11/1385).

The updated rules will be aligned across different product sectors aim to avoid conflicting or overlapping requirements for products governed by more than one piece of legislation and will ensure easier market access and a higher level of protection of life and property. They will involve:

  • Clearer responsibilities for manufacturers, importers and distributors selling products;

  • More guarantees for product safety through better traceability allowing tracking down defective or unsafe products and through clearer rules and improved supervision of conformity assessment bodies;

  • Improved national market surveillance as authorities will be better equipped to stop dangerous products imported from third countries:

  • Improved clarity of the provisions through introduction of definitions for sector specific terminology used reducing the need for interpretation thus facilitating the application of the legislation;

  • Introduction of harmonised content and form for the communication of gas supply conditions in the Member States enabling designing and constructing of safe and correctly performing products; and

  • Clarifying the relationship with other Union harmonisation legislation applying to gas appliances.

The 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 ten other industrial sectors (IP/14/111, IP/14/319). This should help to overcome conflicting or overlapping requirements for products governed by more than one piece of legislation

More information:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/pressure-and-gas/documents/gad/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Carlo Corazza (+32 2 295 17 52) Twitter: @ECspokesCorazza

Sara Tironi (+32 2 299 04 03)


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