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The definition of machinery in the Machinery Directive

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Machinery within scope of the Directive is interpreted very widely and means (quoting from Article 2(a) of 2006/42/EC):

thus products missing only the electric motor, requiring mounting (eg a hydraulic lifting arm) onto a vehicle or structure / building), or to be assembled with others are all regarded as machinery in the strict sense.

What else is in scope of the Machinery Directive?

In addition to machinery in the strict sense, Article 1(1) of the Directive brings into scope several other related products under a "broader" use of the word  machinery. These are, with their accompanying definitions (from Article 2):

Products fitting within these definitions shall be treated as if they were machinery, and so subject to the full provisions of the Directive in the same way as machinery (including Declaration of Conformity, CE marking and user instructions in English).

In the case of safety components (as defined above, but note those supplied as spare parts by the original machine manufacturer are excluded from scope), the instructions for use should clearly state:

One further class of products that are almost machinery are brought into scope of the Directive, but they are treated slightly differently to "machinery" as defined above:

In the case of partly completed machinery it must not be supplied CE marked and instead of a Declaration of Conformity must be accompanied by a Declaration of Incorporation. It must also be supplied with instructions for its safe incorporation in an assembly with other machinery, partly completed machinery or equipment to form a machine. The person / organisation undertaking the final incorporation / assembly process to form the final machine then becomes the manufacturer of the complete product. As such they have to meet the requirements of the Directive, apply the CE mark and issue a Declaration of Conformity for the complete machine or assembly.

What is NOT in scope of the Machinery Directive?

Article 1(2) (reproduced at schedule 3 of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations) provides a list of products which are excluded from the Directive, for example:

Other machines covered by other Directives are also excluded, for example:

Further details on these and other European Directives which interface or overlap with the Machinery Directive are given at paragraphs 90-92 of the European Commission guide on the application of the Machinery Directive.

Updated: 2020-07-31