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Implemementation of the New Legislative Framework

The New Legislative Framework (NLF) – A template for future product harmonisation legislation & CE marking

CE Marking Legislation Cycle

CE Marking
Legislation Cycle

Over the last 40 years, product Legislation within the EU has come a long way since the ‘Old Approach’ in which national authorities drew up technical legislation, going into great detail. In order to address the problems with the often ‘unwieldy’ legislation produced by the national authorities, the ‘New Approach’ framework was introduced in 1987. This framework aimed to restrict the content of legislation to ‘essential requirements’ leaving technical details to European Harmonised Standards. Whilst a significant improvement was made with the ‘New Approach’ framework, it was decided that the framework did not create the necessary level of trust between Member States to allow authorities to accept products they could not vouch for. As such in 1989 & 1990 the Council adopted a Resolution on the Global Approach and Decision 90/683/EEC which laid down the general guidelines and detailed procedures for conformity assessment. Based on these frameworks, 27 directives where produced whose scopes collectively covered a wide range of industrial and commercial products.

Towards the end of the 90’s the European commission started to review the implementation of the ‘New Approach’ framework in the Directives and concluded in 2003 that there was a clear need to improve:

o    overall coherence and consistency;
o    the notification process;
o    accreditation; the conformity assessment procedures (modules);
o    CE marking and market surveillance (including revision of the safeguard clause procedures).

The review of the current framework and Directives eventually led to production of a package of measures known as ‘New legislative framework’ which was adopted 9th July 2008 and entered into force 1st January 2010. The package of measures published in the Official Journal of the European Union which make up the ‘New Legislative’ framework consists of:

o    Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 on accreditation and market surveillance
o    Decision No 768/2008/EC on establishing a common framework for the marketing of products
o    Regulation (EC) No 764/2008 to strengthen the internal market for a wide range of other products not subject to EU harmonisation.

Of these three measures, the one which is likely to affect the majority of manufactures significantly is Decision 768/2008/EC, the provisions of which will be incorporated in existing Directives as and when they are revised and is in effect, the template for future product harmonisation legislation.

The consequence is that existing CE Marking Directives are currently being reviewed and revised, which means that manufacturers will need to review their existing level of conformity and ensure that they are prepared for the forthcoming changes in CE marking. 

The table below gives an insight of the Directives that have so far been affected or aligned to the NLF and the dates when the new Legislation is coming into force:

Legislation considered for revision before 2010 and partially aligned to the NLF (All now in force):

1.    Directive 2009/48/EC  – Safety of Toys (Toys Directive)
2.    Directive 2011/65/EU – Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances (RoHS Directive)
3.    Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 – Construction Products Regulation (CPR)

The first Directive to be fully aligned to the NLF was:

1.    Directive 2013/29/EU – Pyrotechnic Articles Directive (The Pyrotechnic Articles Directive was adopted in in June 2013 and the requirements of which will be applicable from 1st July 2015).

Remainder of the first set of Directives that have been aligned to the NLF  (Applicable from 20th April 2016):

1.    Directive 2014/35/EU – Low Voltage Directive (LVD)
2.    Directive 2014/30/EU – Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive
3.    Directive 2014/34/EU – Equipment for explosive atmospheres (ATEX Directive)
4.    Directive 2014/33/EU – Lifts Directive
5.    Directive 2014/29/EU – Simple Pressure Vessels Directive (SPVD)
6.    Directive 2014/32/EU – Measuring Instruments Directive (MID)
7.    Directive 2014/31/EU – Non-automatic Weighing Instruments Directive (NAWI)
8.    Directive 2014/28/EU – Civil Explosives Directive

Directives being aligned separately to the first set (Applicable from 19th July 2016):

1.    Directive 2014/68/EU – Pressure Equipment Directive (PED)

If you are interesting in finding out more information about the updated Directives, including any changes and how these may affect you then please call us on 01564 792349.