Safety of pressure vessel equipment and material
Directive 2014/68/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of pressure equipment
This European Union law lays down essential safety requirements for pressure equipment and assemblies (such as boilers, pressure cookers, fire extinguishers, heat exchangers and steam generators). All stationary pressure equipment must conform to strict specifications if it is to be sold in the EU.
The directive applies to the design, manufacture and conformity of pressure equipment with a maximum allowable pressure greater than 0.5 bar. It covers all pressure equipment and assemblies that are new to the EU market, whether manufactured in the EU or elsewhere. This also includes imported used items.
Wide range of applications
Pressure equipment is used widely in industries such as:
energy production, storage and distribution.
Without stringent and effectively enforced standards, stationary pressure equipment can be inherently dangerous.
Responsibility for compliance
Manufacturers and their representatives, importers and distributors are responsible for the compliance of their products with this law. This is to ensure the health and safety of users and the safety of domestic animals and property, as well as to guarantee fair competition in the EU.
Manufacturer details (name, registered trade name/trademark and their postal address) must be indicated on the equipment or, where this is not possible, on the packaging or in the accompanying documentation.
These must be provided in a language easily understood by consumers and market surveillance authorities (public authorities that ensure products comply with legislation and are safe). Importers must provide their contact details.
EU countries must ensure that manufacturers, importers and distributors comply with the law. If there is evidence of non-compliance, they must restrict or prohibit the equipment from being sold.
These contain detailed information on aspects such as:
essential safety requirements to be met;
conformity assessment procedures (to test a product meets the required standards);
the EU declaration of conformity.
Rules in this field are currently governed by Directive 97/23/EC. Directive 2014/68/EU replaces Directive 97/23/EC with effect from 1 June 2015 (and 19 July 2016 for some aspects).
Pressure equipment: vessels, piping, safety accessories and pressure accessories, including, where applicable, elements attached to pressurised parts, such as flanges, nozzles, couplings, supports and lifting lugs.
Assemblies: several pieces of pressure equipment assembled by a manufacturer to constitute an integrated and functional whole.
Entry into force
Deadline for transposition in the Member States
28.2.2015 and for some articles: 18.7.2016
OJ L 189, 27.6.2014, pp. 164-259
Directive 97/23/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 May 1997 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States concerning pressure equipment (Official Journal OJ L 181, 9 July 1997, pp. 1-55)
Safety of simple pressure vessels in the EU
European Union (EU) law on the placing on the market and putting into service of simple pressure vessels (diving cylinders, for example) has two key aims: (i) to ensure the protection of persons, domestic animals and property with regard to the hazards resulting from leakage or bursting; and (ii) to have the same rules governing their sale throughout the EU.
Directive 2014/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of simple pressure vessels.
It lays down uniform rules on the placing on the market and putting into service of simple pressure vessels.
It applies to vessels manufactured in series, such as any welded vessel subjected to an internal gauge pressure greater than 0.5 bar, which is intended to contain air or nitrogen and which is not intended to be fired, as well as to the parts and assemblies contributing to the strength of the vessel under pressure made of certain qualities of steel or aluminium.
It does not apply to: (i) vessels specifically designed for nuclear use; (ii) vessels installed on ships and aircraft; and (iii) fire extinguishers.
The directive defines the responsibilities of manufacturers, importers and distributors of simple pressure vessels.
1.Most of the simple pressure vessels within the scope of the directive must bear the CE conformity marking to show that they meet all the essential safety requirements of EU legislation.
2.The manufacturer must conduct a conformity assessment and establish detailed technical documentation for its vessels.
3.Importers must check whether manufacturers have carried out conformity assessments correctly and inform the authority monitoring the safety if they consider that the vessel does not conform to the essential safety requirements.
4.All necessary documentation must be recorded and kept for 10 years.
5.Instructions and safety information must be written in a language easily understood by end-users.
6.Manufacturers and importers must indicate their name, registered trade name or registered trade mark and the postal address at which they can be contacted on their vessels.
7.The directive specifies what national market surveillance authorities must do to identify non-compliant products and prevent the placing on the market or putting into service of such products on the EU market.
Application & Background
It enters into force on 18 April 2014 and applies from 20 April 2016. It repeals Directive 2009/105/EC with effect from 20 April 2016.
The directive updates the existing EU rules on the placing on the market and putting into service of simple pressure vessels. This is part of the effort to modernise European law in a wide range of industrial sectors so as to simplify the rules, reduce administrative burdens and establish clearer and more consistent rules.
For more information, see the European Commission’s simple pressure vessels website.