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New Directive for electrical equipment

New Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU

The new European Low Voltage Directive (LVD) 2014/35/EU will come into force on the 21st of April 2016. Manufacturers, importers and distributors should take this date into account, when planning deals on electrical equipment on EEA and EU markets.

LVD equipment

Scope

As the previous Low Voltage Directive 2006/95/EC the new LVD applies to electrical equipment with a rating of between 50V and 1000V for alternative current, and between 75V and 1500V for direct current. Compare to the previous Directive the new Low Voltage Directive contains an additional exception for custom built evaluation kits destined for professionals to be used solely at research and development facilities for such purposes.

Obligations for economic operators

There are several economic operators who are offering electrical equipment on EU/EEA markets. In the Directive 2014/35/EU four types of economic operators are mentioned: the manufacturer, the authorised representative, the importer and the distributor. Depends on the type of economic operator different obligations apply.

The manufacturer who wants to place the electrical equipment on the market shall ensure that it has been designed and manufactured in accordance with safety objectives referred to Directive 2014/35/EU [1]. Additionally the manufacturer shall draw up the Technical Documentation and carry out the conformity assessment procedure.

Based on Technical Documentation it should be possible to assess if the electrical equipment satisfy the relevant requirements and that the manufacturer has followed the appropriate conformity assessment procedure. Technical Documentation shall include [2]:

  • A risk analysis;
  • A general description of the electrical equipment;
  • Conceptual design and manufacturing drawings and schemes of components, sub-assemblies, etc.;
  • Description and explanations necessary for the understanding of those drawings;
  • A list of the harmonized standards applied in full or in part;
  • Results of design calculations made, examinations carried out, etc.;
  • Test reports;

Manufacturers shall ensure that electrical equipment bears a type, batch or serial number or other element allowing its identification and indicate registered tradename or trademark and the postal address at which they can be contacted. The electrical equipment shall be accompanied by instructions and safety information in a language which can be easily understood by consumer and other end-users, as determined by the Member State concerned [3].

Once determined that the electrical equipment satisfied the applicable requirements of the Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU, the manufacturer should draw up an EU declaration of conformity and to affix the CE marking on electrical equipment.

Other economic operators such as importers [4] and distributors [5] mostly have a monitoring and verification tasks. These operators must ensure adequate control to only bring electrical equipment that meets the requirements into the EU market, but they do not need to run a conformity assessment themselves. This is different if an importer is bringing a piece of electrical equipment into the EU market. In that case he is seen as the manufacturer and must carry out all obligations of the manufacturer

Economic operators should take into the account that besides the Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU, other European Directives and/or Regulations may apply to electrical equipment. Examples of Directive that covers electrical equipment:

[1] Article 3, Annex I New Low Voltage Directive 2014/35 / EU.
[2] Annex III New Low Voltage Directive 2014/35 / EU.
[3] Article 6, paragraph 6 New Low Voltage Directive 2014/35 / EU.
[4] Article 8 New Low Voltage Directive 2014/35 / EU.
[5] Article 9 New Low Voltage Directive 2014/35 / EU.

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