whereas of machinery directive machines 1989/392/EEC

Council Directive 89/392/EEC of 14 June 1989 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to machinery /* Codified version CF 398L0037 */ 

Official Journal L 183 , 29/06/1989 P. 0009 – 0032 - Finnish special edition: Chapter 13 Volume 19 P. 0023  - Swedish special edition: Chapter 13 Volume 19 P. 0023 


COUNCIL DIRECTIVE of 14 June 1989 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to machinery (89/392/EEC)


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, and in particular Article 100a thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission (1),

In cooperation with the European Parliament (2),

Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee (3),

Whereas Member States are responsible for ensuring the health and safety on their territory of their people and, where appropriate, of domestic animals and goods and, in particular, of workers notably in relation to the risks arising out of the use of machinery;

Whereas, in the Member States, the legislative systems regarding accident prevention are very different; whereas the relevant compulsory provisions, frequently supplemented by de facto mandatory technical specifications and/or voluntary standards, do not necessarily lead to different levels of health and safety, but nevertheless, owing to their disparities, constitute barriers to trade within the Community; whereas, furthermore, conformity certification and national certification systems for machinery differ considerably;

Whereas the maintenance or improvement of the level of safety attained by the Member States constitutes one of the essential aims of this Directive and of the principle of safety as defined by the essential requirements;

Whereas existing national health and safety provisions providing protection against the risks caused by machinery must be approximated to ensure free movement of machinery without lowering existing justified levels of protection in the Member States; whereas the provisions of this Directive concerning the design and construction of machinery, essential for a safer working environment shall be accompanied by specific provisions concerning the prevention of certain risks to which workers can be exposed at work, as well as by provisions based on the organization of safety of workers in the working environment;

Whereas the machinery sector is an important part of the engineering industry and is one of the industrial mainstays of the Community economy;

Whereas paragraphs 65 and 68 of the White Paper on the completion of the internal market, approved by the European Council in June 1985, provide for a new approach to legislative harmonization;

Whereas the social cost of the large number of accidents caused directly by the use of machinery can be reduced by inherently safe design and construction of machinery and by proper installations and maintenance;

Whereas the field of application of this Directive must be based on a general definition of the term 'machinery' so as to allow the technical development of products; whereas the development of 'complex installations' and the risks they involve are of an equivalent nature and their express inclusion in the Directive is therefore justified;

Whereas specific Directives containing design and construction provisions for certain categories of machinery are now envisaged; whereas the very broad scope of this Directive must be limited in relation to these Directives and also existing Directives where they contain design and construction provisions;

Whereas Community law, in its present form, provides - by way of derogation from one of the fundamental rules of the Community, namely the free movement of goods - that obstacles to movement within the Community resulting from disparities in national legislation relating to the marketing of products must be accepted in so far as the provisions concerned can be recognized as being necessary to satisfy imperative requirements; whereas, therefore, the harmonization of laws in this case must be limited only to those requirements necessary to satisfy the imperative and essential health and safety requirements relating to machinery; whereas these requirements must replace the relevant national provisions because they are essential;

Whereas the essential health and safety requirements must be observed in order to ensure that machinery is safe; whereas these requirements must be applied with discernment to take account of the state of the art at the time of construction and of technical and economic requirements;

Whereas the putting into service of machinery within the meaning of this Directive can relate only to the use of the machinery itself as intended by the manufacturer; whereas this does not preclude the laying-down of conditions of use external to the machinery, provided that it is not thereby modified in a way not specified in this Directive;

Whereas, for trade fairs, exhibitions, etc., it must be possible to exhibit machinery which does not conform to this Directive; whereas, however, interested parties should be properly informed that the machinery does not conform and cannot be purchased in that condition;

Whereas, therefore, this Directive defines only the essential health and safety requirements of general application, supplemented by a number of more specific requirements for certain categories of machinery; whereas, in order to help manufacturers to prove conformity to these essential requirements and in order to allow inspection for conformity to the essential requirements, it is desirable to have standards harmonized at European level for the prevention of risks arising out of the design and construction of machinery; whereas these standards harmonized at European level are drawn up by private-law bodies and must retain their non-binding status; whereas for this purpose the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (Cenelec) are the bodies recognized as competent to adopt harmonized standards in accordance with the general guidelines for cooperation between the Commission and these two bodies signed on 13 November 1984; whereas, within the meaning of this Directive, a harmonized standard is a technical specification (European standard or harmonization document) adopted by either or both of these bodies, on the basis of a remit from the Commission in accordance with the provisions of Council Directive 83/189/EEC of 28 March 1983 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations (4), as last amended by Directive 88/182/EEC (5), and on the basis of general guidelines referred to above;

Whereas the legislative framework needs to be improved in order to ensure an effective and appropriate contribution by employers and employees to the standardization process; whereas such improvement should be completed at the latest by the time this Directive is implemented;

Whereas, as is currently the practice in Member States, manufacturers should retain the responsibility for certifying the conformity of their machinery to the relevant essential requirements; whereas conformity to harmonized standards creates a presumption of conformity to the relevant essential requirements; whereas it is left to the sole discretion of the manufacturer, where he feels the need, to have his products examined and certified by a third party;

Whereas, for certain types of machinery having a higher risk factor, a stricter certification procedure is desirable; whereas the EC type-examination procedure adopted may result in an EC declaration being given by the manufacturer without any stricter requirement such as a guarantee of quality, EC verification or EC supervision;

Whereas it is essential that, before issuing an EC declaration of conformity, the manufacturer or his authorized representative established in the Community should provide a technical construction file; whereas it is not, however, essential that all documentation be permanently available in a material manner but it must be made available on demand; whereas it need not include detailed plans of the sub-assemblies used in manufacturing the machines, unless knowledge of these is indispensable in order to ascertain conformity with essential safety requirements;

Whereas it is necessary not only to ensure the free movement and putting into service of machinery bearing the EC mark and having an EC conformity certificate but also to ensure free movement of machinery not bearing the EC mark where it is to be incorporated into other machinery or assembled with other machinery to form a complex installation;

Whereas the Member States' responsibility for safety, health and the other aspects covered by the essential requirements on their territory must be recognized in a safeguard clause providing for adequate Community protection procedures;

Whereas the addresses of any decision taken under this Directive must be informed on the reasons for such a decision and the legal remedies open to them;

Whereas the measures aimed at the gradual establishment of the internal market must be adopted by 31 December 1992; whereas the internal market consists of an area without internal frontiers within which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is guaranteed,