7 May, 2021

Legislation update

01 April, 2016

Change is in the air on the legislative front for manufacturers, distributors and end users of compressed air. Dean Abbot, technical officer for the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), steers us through some of what is expected in 2016.

In the last issue we took a closer look at the work that PNEUROP is doing on the LOT31 Eco Design Directive. Clearly this has major implications for all involved with compressed air. Here, I am going to take a closer look at some other legislation that will affect the compressed air industry.


There have been some minor changes made recently to both the Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) and the Simple Pressure Vessels Directive (SPVD). The two key drivers are the replacement of classification for fluid groups in the PED article 9 and alignment with the EU New Legal Framework initiative.

While fluid groups are now published in a new directive, the good news is that Air (compressed) remains in Group 2. It is, however, a legal requirement so Current Declarations of Conformity will require amendment to include reference to the new PED Article 13 of 2014/68/EU. Other changes include the renaming of conformity assessment modules and requirements for, and the restructuring of, notified bodies.

Distributors and importers are also now included in the PED and have certain legal obligations. Specifically there is now a requirement to analyse the hazards and risks in order to identify those that apply to equipment, and to then design and construct it with this in mind.

The new PED (2014/68/EU) also states that certificates and decisions issued by conformity assessment bodies under the old PED (97/23/EC) are valid under this directive. Certificates of declaration for existing equipment will need a statement to this effect when the new PED becomes UK law, which is expected to be on 18 July 2016.

The new SPVD (2014/29/EU) applies to simple pressure vessels manufactured in series, described in the Directive as "any welded vessel subjected to an internal pressure gauge pressure greater than 0.5 bar, which is intended to contain nitrogen or air and which is intended not to be fired". It will be applicable from 20 April 2016 and all existing Declarations of Conformity will require updating to reflect the new Directive number.

Outside Noise Directive (OND)

BCAS is also reviewing the proposed changes to the Outside Noise Directive, with the latest issue being the removal of existing published test standards. This will mean for example amendments to EN ISO 2151, the noise test code for compressors and vacuum pumps, and possibly EN ISO 15744, the noise measurement code for hand-held non-electric power tools. This will ensure that the correct test codes and methodologies remain relevant and available.

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