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For a horizontal alignment of sectoral product legislation with the New Legislative Framework


05 Mar 2009


Sustainable Dev.
Climate & Environment

The European engineering industry welcomes Commission plans to align the relevant New Approach legislation through an ‘omnibus’ approach
In July 2008 the New Legislative Framework (NLF) was finally adopted in the form of Regulation (EC)765/2008 1 and Decision 2008/768/EC 2. Orgalime welcomes Regulation 765/2008/EC which will come into force on 01/01/2010 in all Member States as a step forward to boost the role of market surveillance and custom controls and the obligations for Member States to carry them out.
Orgalime believes that most sectoral directives work satisfactorily and that there is no need for amendments to their technical content. Therefore, alignment of necessary elements with the NLF would be welcome as the general solution for product legislation in the engineering field. This should preferably be done simultaneously at horizontal level for New Approach directives applying to these products, e.g. such as the LVD (2006/95/EC), EMCD (2004/108/EC) and ATEX directive (94/9/EC).
During one of the first meetings of Member States to consider the alignment of a New Approach directive with the NLF, at the LVD Working Party meeting of 17 April 2008, some Member States raised the issue of “resuming” the work on the “LVD Update” in order to bring a number of horizontal features of the NLF into the Low Voltage Directive 2006/95/EC (LVD), including the new balance of obligations between economic operators, new requirements on CE-marking, conformity assessment and market surveillance. At the same time, changes to the technical content of this sectoral directive were suggested that would go far beyond the provisions of the NLF (for further considerations specifically on the LVD, please see the enclosed Annex).
Orgalime position:
Orgalime welcomes the New Legislative Framework and would support the logical alignment of New Approach directives with it.
Sound experience in applying Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 at national level is needed. This should be built upon clear and harmonised guidance as provided for in Article 38 and an update of the “Blue Guide” 3.
Orgalime would favour a horizontal “omnibus” approach, in order to introduce changes to relevant sectoral legislation applying to products. Such an approach would represent the most effective solution for addressing the main elements required in terms of obligations of economic operators as laid down in Decision 768/2008/EC in order to improve the market surveillance of products in the engineering field. In addition, it would make the necessary adaptation to the new legal framework more cost-efficient.
For sectoral legislation that proves to work satisfactorily as regards ensuring a high level of safety for products lawfully placed on the Internal Market, such as the LVD, Orgalime believes that there is no need for amendments to the technical content of such legislation.