The Machinery Directive (MD)

The European Machinery Directive 2006/42 / EC (MD) It provides the regulatory basis for the harmonization of essential safety requirements for machinery at European level. The directive ensures the free movement of machinery within the Single Market, as well as a proper level of protection of workers and citizens of the Union.

This Directive is part of the legislative framework for the free movement and marketing of products in the European community.

In general, the directive is intended to avoid the risks related to a product or to a phenomenon. The same product can be covered by several directives.

The purpose of this Directive is the defense of a common interest of European citizens and European companies.

The English name for this directive: Machinery Directive;

Its abbreviation is: MD;

Its code is: 2006/42/EC;

The previous directive on this topic, Today it is no longer in force: 98/37/EC.

E 'useful to know the references of the directives because they often are in the products or components documentation, but also in the European laws and regulations if they have not recently been updated.

Field of application: this directive concerning the product-machine defined as "the set fitted with or intended to be fitted with a drive system other than from directly applied human or animal, composed of parts or components, of which at least one movable, joined together for a specific application ";

Essential requirements: these products, to be put on the European market, must comply with the following essential requirements. These requirements are determined by an evaluation of the risks of the product, to detect which specific aspects must be deepened and according to what rules this study is to take place.

Main contents of the Directive

  • preconditions
  • Field of application
  • Definitions
  • Essential requirements
  • Obligations of the manufacturer
  • Obligations of the other economic operators
  • Free movement
  • Presumption of conformity and harmonized standards
  • Conformity assessment
  • notified bodies
  • CE Marking


These are the reasons that led to the writing of the Directive.

Field of application

The scope defines the categories of products or phenomena covered by Directive.

Often it is given a general criterion supported by explicit lists of products / phenomena that are subject to the Directive and product / phenomena that are excluded from the Directive in order to clarify the specific situations.

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They also need to understand the scope of the Directive by providing the definition of key terms.

Essential requirements

The essential requirements are requirements which the product must meet in order to be placed on the market.

Often the requirements are provided in Annex I to Directive.

Obligations of the manufacturer

The manufacturer (or his authorized representative in the European community) is the main person responsible for placing a product on the market. This chapter describes the requirements and procedures that it must follow, referring to the annexes to the directive to the extent of more detail.

Obligations of the other economic operators

Distributors and retailers are also responsible and liable if they trade items that do not comply with European directives. They must verify that the manufacturer did run the electrical safety testing, that the product is equipped with the EU declaration of conformity and that it bears the CE mark.

Any importer must ensure that the procedures for the verification of conformity of the product have been performed, must verify the presence of the CE marking and make sure that the technical documentation of the product is available to the competent national authorities.

Free movement

Member States must presume that products bearing the CE marking comply with all the provisions of the applicable directives providing for the affixing. They can not therefore be prohibited, restrict or prevent the placing on the market and putting into service in their territory of products bearing the CE marking, unless the provisions relating to CE marking have not been applied improperly.

Presumption of conformity and harmonized standards

At the directives of our interest it is associated with a list of harmonized standards that is published in the European Official Journal.

The harmonized standards greatly facilitate the verification of compliance of a product with the requirements of Directive. In these standards is described in detail how the tests should be performed or other kinds of assessment needed to be assumed that a product complies.

If a product is available the harmonized standards covering all the requirements of Directive, if these rules are applied in a complete manner and the product passes all the tests provided in these rules, then it can be assumed that the product complies with the requirements of that Directive.

In the absence of harmonized standards adequate to the product path it is more complicated and expensive.

Equipping a suitable laboratory to perform the tests required by the Harmonized Standards thing is rather onerous. For this reason, manufacturers will often rely on external testing laboratories.

notified bodies

In Europe it is the body that can make an assessment of compliance by acting as a third party or whether the one made by the manufacturer and its trusted laboratories is correct.

In most cases, however, the use of a notified body is not provided or not required.

CE Marking

The products comply with all the provisions of the applicable directives providing for the CE marking must convey it. Such marking is, especially, an indication that the products comply with the essential requirements of all applicable directives and that they were subjected to a conformity assessment procedure provided for by the Directives. Member States are also required to take the necessary measures to protect the CE marking.

Sicom Testing offers a complete service for CE certification of products.

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