Buying new machinery

Buying machinery can be one of the biggest investments you make, and the profitability of the business can depend on it doing the right job well, safely, and without affecting people's health.

A summary of the law on new machinery

Manufacturers and suppliers have a duty to ensure that the machinery they provide complies with legal requirements. This means that, when this equipment is used correctly and safely, the risk of accidents and ill health occurring is reduced.

The law requires that machinery:

CE Marking
CE Mark

From 1st January 2025, new machinery with only a CE mark will no longer be acceptable in Great Britain. In practice, most new machinery is likely to have both a UKCA, and CE mark.

Manufacturers have to meet these requirements when machinery is first placed on the European market. Intermediate suppliers must also supply safe machinery.

When buying new equipment (including machinery), users are also required to check it complies with all relevant supply laws. This means checking it is UKCA/CE marked; supplied with a Declaration of Conformity and user instructions in English; and free from any obvious defect (such as missing or damaged guards).
Users of machinery also have legal duties to:

What you have to do in practice

Before you buy it, think about:

This can help you decide which machine may be suitable, particularly when buying a standard machine 'off the shelf'. If you are buying a more complex or custom-built machine, you should discuss your requirements with potential suppliers, who can advise you on the options available.

When buying new machinery, check:

See guidance INDG271 'Buying new machinery' for additional information and some useful checklists that can be used when talking to suppliers.