Machinery Regulation CECE comments on Council position and prepares for trialogue

  • Council reaches its common position – Czech Presidency to lead negotiations with Parliament
  • Conformity assessment procedures: Council improves Commission proposal
  • Criteria and timeline related to modification of Annex I remain inconsistent and must be improved
  • Industry calls for maximum transparency by legislators in the trialogue process

The Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) approved today the European Council position on the Machinery Regulation. In light of that, the Czech Council Presidency is expected to lead negotiations as of 1st July with the EP Rapporteur MEP ŠTEFANEC, whose mandate was already approved by Parliament in May.

CECE welcomes the improvements agreed by COREPER with regards to conformity assessment procedures. Indeed, the content of Annex I is depicting a de-facto status-quo, with self-evolving behaviours for certain applications and safety functions as the only areas in which compulsory third-party intervention is introduced.

Commenting on this, CECE Secretary General Riccardo Viaggi said:

“We are satisfied that our advocacy is paying off. Thanks to our actions and information efforts, a small group of Member States stopped the French Presidency plans to radically change conformity assessment procedures. It was fundamental for the Council to confirm, as the Parliament did, that there is no such thing as high-risk machinery, a controversial definition introduced by the Commission. When it comes to conformity assessment, we have never accepted the underlying assumption that all industry self-declarations cannot be trusted and that a blank check to third-party notified bodies would be the solution. Any massive obligation to undergo third-party certification would be an undue present to notified bodies and this is unacceptable for manufacturers. We hope that this sensible approach will make its way into the trialogue discussions.”

Connected to this are the criteria in article 5 according to which the Commission can adopt delegated acts and modify the content of Annex I to impose third-party certification obligations. Some of these criteria are neither realistic nor objective, even if a last-minute addition by Council is associating industry representatives to the process of consultation that the Commission has to undertake to draft the delegated act.

Finally, on the application timeline of article 5, CECE calls into question the compromise agreed by COREPER. CECE’s Riccardo Viaggi also said:

“It is difficult to understand how a major new feature of the Regulation could be made applicable before the Regulation itself. If all the articles are applicable 36 months after the entry into force of this Regulation, how and why does article 5.2 become applicable 2 years before? This will give the possibility for the Commission to change the content of Annex I already 1 year after the entry into force. Knowing that the Commission has proposed very stringent obligations of third-party certification since the beginning, it looks like something that was kicked out the door has a chance to enter through the window.

Source: CECE, the Committee for European Construction Equipment Press