The European Commission has published the document of Inception Impact Assessment on the revision of the Machinery Directive. The document can be found at this link https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/initiatives/ares-2018-6426989_it and you can also provide comments up to the 11 February.
According to the results of the evaluation study of the Machinery Directive published a couple of years ago, it is expected that the revision of the directive will be aimed at improving the legal clarity of the scope and some definitions, to strengthen consistency with the legislative framework. and to consider 'needs for simplification and adaptation to technical progress (with particular attention to the challenges posed by digitization).
The specific objectives of the review are twofold:
1. creation of a level playing field for economic operators and promotion of the competitiveness of the machinery sector in the global and digital market; is
2. increase the level of trust of consumers and operators in digital technologies
The policy options that will be taken into consideration are the following:
• 0 option - basic scenario (no change);
• 1 option - alignment of the directive with the "new legislative framework", without substantial changes to the current content (scope, definitions, essential health and safety requirements);
• 2 option - alignment of the directive with the "new legislative framework", with changes to:
- Scope and definitions, e.g. adjust the list of excluded products as excluded from the low voltage directive or improve the definition of "quasi-machine" and / or
- the essential health and safety requirements, in order to:
allow digital documentation; and / or
explicitly deal with aspects related to emerging digital technologies, e.g. AI, computer security, IoT.
• 3 option - adapt the scope and definitions of the directive and / or the essential health and safety requirements (as in the 2 option) without aligning it with the "new legislative framework"; is
• 4 option (together with the 1, 2 or 3 option) - convert the directive into a regulation.
The 1 and 4 options should not have significant impacts. In addition, the 4 option should reduce costs and prevent delays associated with transposition at national level.
The 2 and 3 options may generate benefits regarding:
• the labor market (addressing the growing demand for digital skills - the need to upgrade / retrain workers to make new digital machines work)
• the environment (reduction or elimination of the production of paper documentation)
• protection of information-related rights, such as personal data and privacy (if the requirements are extended to information security)
• the reduction of administrative burdens, including costs for businesses (in particular SMEs) by improving the scope, definitions and essential requirements and enabling digital documentation.
• January 2019 - February 2020: impact assessment study to be performed by an external contractor
• 2019 second quarter: public consultation
• Second quarter 2021: adoption of the EC proposal on the new Machinery Directive / Regulation