Whe­re is the new Euro­pean Machi­nery Regulation?

The so-called “tri­lo­gue nego­tia­ti­ons” are start­ing in Brussels the­se days. The tri­lo­gue is a mee­ting of repre­sen­ta­ti­ves of the legis­la­ti­ve insti­tu­ti­ons of the EU, con­sis­ting of the Com­mis­si­on, Coun­cil and Par­lia­ment. The cur­rent text pro­po­sal, which has alre­a­dy been indi­vi­du­al­ly review­ed and com­men­ted on by all three insti­tu­ti­ons, is being fina­li­sed bet­ween the par­ties. The goal is to reach agree­ment on all out­stan­ding and dis­pu­ted points so that the final draft of the regu­la­ti­on will be in place at the end.

The new EU Machi­nery Regu­la­ti­on will replace pre­vious EC Machi­nery Direc­ti­ve 2006/42/EC. The decisi­ve fac­tor here is first of all that the Direc­ti­ve is being repla­ced by a regu­la­ti­on, which appli­es direct­ly in the EU mem­ber sta­tes and no lon­ger needs to be con­ver­ted into natio­nal law. In addi­ti­on, three points are par­ti­cu­lar­ly note­wor­t­hy from the draft text known to date:

•          Machi­nes with high risk potential

The list of machi­nes with high risk poten­ti­al (form­er­ly Annex IV) is being exten­ded and pro­vi­ded with the pos­si­bi­li­ty of influence by the EU Com­mis­si­on. The list can and thus will be dyna­mic, it being pos­si­ble update the list at short noti­ce. In addi­ti­on, a noti­fied body must be invol­ved in future for the con­for­mi­ty assess­ment of machi­nes in this class.

•          Digi­ti­sa­ti­on

As far as pos­si­ble, hard­co­py ope­ra­ting manu­als and the asso­cia­ted car­bon foot­print are to beco­me a thing of the past. Howe­ver, the Com­mis­si­on could not ful­ly com­ply with the request of some EU count­ries: Con­cerns from other mem­ber sta­tes that strict­ly digi­tal ins­truc­tions might not be cle­ar­ly reco­g­nis­ed and retrie­va­ble by every end cus­to­mer again limi­t­ed the plan­ned digi­ti­sa­ti­on initia­ti­ve, main­ly con­cer­ning B2C pro­ducts. Digi­tal ope­ra­ting ins­truc­tions are per­mit­ted for B2B pro­ducts. B2B cus­to­mers can still insist on hard­co­py form.

•          Soft­ware & AI

Actual­ly, the revi­si­on of the Machi­nery Direc­ti­ve was sup­po­sed to be all about soft­ware, so during the pro­cess it was deci­ded wit­hout fur­ther ado to include the new Euro­pean AI Regu­la­ti­on (pre­vious­ly only known as a draft) in the new Machi­nery Regu­la­ti­on. Howe­ver, as the legis­la­ti­ve pro­cess around the new AI Regu­la­ti­on has been con­sider­a­b­ly delay­ed, this pro­ject was stop­ped again on the advice of the Coun­cil and the Par­lia­ment and the refe­ren­ces to the pro­vi­si­ons of the upco­ming AI Regu­la­ti­on were dele­ted. This is inten­ded to pre­vent the end result from beco­ming various regu­la­ti­ons that are not coör­di­na­ted with each other. What has endu­red in all cases: the update around the aspect of soft­ware and thus in par­ti­cu­lar the hand­ling of soft­ware, soft­ware errors and sub­se­quent soft­ware updates.

The new Machi­nery Regu­la­ti­on is a prio­ri­ty for the Czech EU Pre­si­den­cy and is expec­ted to be a major achie­ve­ment of its term. The­r­e­fo­re, the ambi­tious goal is to suc­cessful­ly con­clude the tri­lo­gue pro­cess in the autumn in all cases.

Con­clu­si­on

It will be exci­ting to see what will be left of the 200-page docu­ment and the many pro­po­sed chan­ges. We will pro­vi­de detail­ed insight into the inno­va­tions of the Machi­nery Regu­la­ti­on in the coming days…

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