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The concepts ‘directives’ and ‘standards’ appear in practice to cause quite some confusion. A directive is a ‘law’ that obliges the member states to incorporate it into their national legislation; thus, a directive must be complied with. A ‘standard’ does not have legal status, but a voluntary character. Certain (harmonised) European standards give the manufacturer the so-called ‘presumption of conformity’ with the stipulations of the directive. For more on this, see our information page ‘Standards’.

Given below are brief summary descriptions of frequently-encountered directives; only the texts of the directives themselves are legally valid.

Machinery Directive
Low Voltage Directive
EMC Directive
Work Equipment Directive
ATEX 95 Directive
ATEX 137 Directive
Pressure Equipment Directive
Medical Devices Directive
Toy Safety Directive
Construction Products Regulation
General Product Safety Directive

The most up-to-date directive statuses

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