In March 2016, the European Commission published a new PPE legislation EU 2016/425, which will come into force in April 2018, replacing directive 89/686/EEC. Now well over half way through the transition period, let's find out what the new PPE legislation requires from distributors; and the changes they should be making now to meet the deadline.
What does EU 2016/425 require from distributors?
Distributors, importers and manufacturers of PPE have a shared responsibility in ensuring compliance with safety and quality standards.
All distributors must now verify that all PPE they stock carries the correct markings, including the CE mark, before placing it on the market. They must store and transport PPE in a way that does not jeapordise its conformity, and should ensure that all PPE is accompanied by instructions and a declaration of conformity in a language used by the market in which it is placed.
Distributors must not make PPE available if it does not meet the requirements of the regulation, and should inform the manufacturer, importer and relevant authorities. If they believe that PPE they have previously sold does not conform, they must take the necesary action to withdraw or recall it. Non compliance will lead to the EC certificate being withdrawn, making the sale of the PPE illegal.
How does this differ from the old legislation?
The focus within the new legislation has shifted from a sole emphasis on the manufacturer to ensure compliance to a shared responsibility on the entire supply chain. This new legislation brings new responsibilities for importers and distributors in ensuring that all PPE they put on the market meets the required safety and quality standards.
Find out more about the new legislation and what you can be doing to comply here.