European Commissions proposal to replace the gas appliances directive

On 12 May 2014 the European commission proposed to replace the gas appliances directive to govern the safety of gas fired appliances and related safety by directly applicable regulation. One single piece of legislation will replace the 28 pieces of national legislation. The legislation covers a wide range of gas appliances of common consumers and commercial products.

The reason to propose these changed is to introduce more coherent rules which will lower compliance cost for businesses and to include clearer responsibilities for all economic parties involved. Product safety will be improved through better traceability which will allow tracking down unsafe products. The proposal will therefore make product safety more effective across the EU.

The safety of gas appliances will be further enhanced by clarifying and improving the requirements each gas appliance has to fulfill. In order to increase product safety, the regulation will for instance require that only using warnings isn’t sufficient but that the manufacturers always have to avoid or reduce risks.

The aim of the updated rules is to avoid overlapping requirements for products governed by more than one piece of legislation and will ensure easier market access. They will involve:

  • More guarantees for product safety (better traceability)
  • Clearer responsibility for manufacturers, importers and distributors selling products
  • Improved national market surveillance
  • Improved clarity of the provisions
  • Introduction of harmonized content
  • Clarifying the relationship with other Union harmonization legislation applying to gas appliances.

Similar proposals were recently adopted for ten other industrial sectors. This is to ensure greater consistency and to facility compliance with the rules throughout sectors.

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