The European Commission has recently published the Report on the transposition and administration of Directive 2000/14/EC on the noise emission in the environment by equipment for use outdoors.
This Report comes at the end of a complex assessment process - which began in 2013 with the evaluation of a possible unification of the Directive with the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and continued with studies aimed at analysing noise limits - and which led, as a first milestone, to the publication in 2018 of the Supporting Study to the so-called Impact Assessment (a study through which, in general, the Commission analyses the performance of a Directive and assesses the impact and examines the extent to which it has achieved its strategic objectives) and the related Evaluation Report.
Between 2019 and the early part of 2020, the Commission further deepened the performance of the Directive with respect to its effectiveness in achieving its objectives, its efficiency (with a focus on examining regulatory costs and benefits, including administrative costs and benefits), its potential for simplification and improvement, its coherence with other EU legislation, its relevance to stakeholders' needs and its added value.
Concluding this new phase, the Commission then published:
the Report on the Transposition and Administration of Directive 2000/14/EC;
the so-called Executive Summary of the evaluation conducted;
the so-called Staff Working Document.
The Report then identified a number of critical aspects - mainly linked to the failure to adapt essential elements of the Directive to technical progress - to be addressed:
the scope of application and, in particular, the lists of equipment covered and their definitions, as well as the scope of the requirements for each type of equipment (subject to noise emission limits or only to noise marking)
the noise emission limits for specific types of equipment and regulated equipment, on the basis of available information regarding their technical and economic feasibility, within the overall objective of continuous reduction of noise emission at source;
test and measurement methods - for most of the equipment covered by the Directive - that are not consistent with technological development;
the relevant conformity assessment procedures, also taking into account the impact of different solutions based on self-assessment (based on internal control) and third-party intervention (involvement of a notified body);
the remaining gaps in market surveillance;
the obligation to collect noise data and its management tool (NOISE Application database);
adaptation to the new legislative framework.