22 September, 2019

Legislation and standards update – Latest news from Europe

21 March, 2019

BCAS is a key member of Pneurop, the European committee of manufactures of compressors, vacuum pumps and pneumatic tools, acting as secretariat for several Pneurop committees and as chair of the national secretaries.

There is a new Pneurop working group focusing on the issue of digitalisation, concerning topics such as data legislation, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and online platforms for which, BCAS has a nominated representative to develop policy and present the views and challenges of the UK market.

Upcoming 2019 European parliament elections are currently influencing work plans programmed for this year and beyond, with some items being prioritised before a potential change of representatives.

Although Brexit negotiations are continuing apace these are not expected to affect directives concerning safety, health and environmental issues at present, but resource is inevitably diverted to concentrate on these important issues.

Here is a brief overview of some of the key areas of focus for Pneurop:

Machinery Directive (MD)

An impact assessment began at the end of 2018. No major revisions are expected, but there will be a number of improvements and clarifications. The impact of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and human-robot cooperation are the focus. The impact assessment report and EC proposal for a new MD is expected for 2019/2020.

Outdoor Noise Directive (OND)

The public consultation concluded in April 2018 with a final report presented in September 2018. Findings of the report concluded that the directive has had positive impacts on the reduction of noise emissions, but that a revision (possibly with further noise limit reductions) would be welcomed by the commission to encourage further gains.

Pressure Equipment (PED) and Simple Pressure Vessels (SPVD) Directives

The revised PED and SPVD Guidelines were published in October 2018. Also, revisions of

EN 286-2 and EN 286-3 are ongoing to achieve compliance with SPVD to aid harmonisation.

Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)

Reach is an EU regulation dating from 18 December 2006, which addresses the production and use of chemical substances, and their potential impacts on both human health and the environment.

The latest review report in March 2018 stated that no amendments were required, but some actions were proposed to make the regulation more effective.

Circular Economy

The current global focus on the reduction of ‘single-use’ plastics is affecting some end-users in the plastics industry, as they adjust to a reduction in demand for their products and their consumption of compressed air reduces. This has little direct impact on current air compressor manufacturing practices (other than packaging for components, etc.), but the future focus may shift to a ‘design for recycling’ methodology, encouraging the industry to explore the use of more recycled material during the design process. More widely, this concept focuses on the objectives of cutting resource use, reducing waste and boosting recycling.

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