Cableway Installations for Passengers


The aim of the directive is to govern the safe construction and operation of cableway installations. The directive covers funicular railways, cliff lifts, cable cars, gondolas, chair lifts and drag lifts as well as subsystems and safety components. Any cableway built after May 2004 must comply as must any existing cableway modified after this date.

The directive contains administrative and protection requirements. Protection requirements are detailed in the relevant standards. Administrative requirements include a CE logo, a Declaration of Conformity and a Technical File.

This process requires a notified body, of which there are none currently operating in the UK, and an Authorisation body, which in the UK is the Secretary of State for Transport. Notified bodies are required to check whether safety components and subsystems comply with essential requirements of the directive.

Authorisation is achieved through two separate stages. Firstly, the main contractor applies to the Authorisation body, which grants authorization when it is satisfied the system will be safe, complies with essential requirements of the directive and the competence of those involved. They also consider engineering and environmental factors. Secondly, the operator must apply to the Authorisation body that grant authorisation when satisfied the system has been installed correctly and the system for monitoring safety is adequate.


The Cableway Installations Directive 2000/09/EC is a New Approach Directive created under article 100a of the Treaty of Rome. Like all Article 100a directives, it has the primary objective of helping to create a single European market in goods and services, with the objective of providing producers and consumers with the benefits of economies of scale that this offers.

In particular, Directive 2000/9/EC is intended to facilitate the safe construction and operation of all cableway installations throughout the EU. This is to be achieved by harmonising national laws regarding the design, manufacture and conformity assessment of the components of cableway installations designed to carry persons, allowing their free movement across borders.


The Directive covers cableway installations such as funicular railways, cliff lifts, cable-cars, gondolas, chair-lifts and drag-lifts built after 3rd May 2004, and also the subsystems and safety components which comprise such installations.

The Directive applies to all new installations. Also, while it is not actually retrospective, the provisions apply to installations predating the Directive which undergo modifications. Modifications to exiting cable ways therefore require authorisation before they can be put into operation.


As with the other New Approach directives, the Cableway Installations Directive has both Administrative and Protection requirements. The protection requirements are those relating to the safety of the product and are detailed in the standards which implement the Directive. The administration requirements are as follows;

  • the product must be marked with the CE logo
  • the manufacturer (or their authorised representative) must complete a specified form of Declaration of Conformity, listing the Directives to which they claim compliance and the documents (standards) used to justify that claim
  • the manufacturer must compile (or be able to compile) a Technical File containing design details of the product.

Notified Body involvement in the assessment of the components and subsystems is mandatory and a two-stage authorisation procedure must be followed by the main contractor and operator in relation to the actual installations (see below for the requirements of each party). The Authorisation Body is a separate organisation from the Notified Bodies and in the UK is the Secretary of State for Transport. There are no Notified Bodies authorised for the Cableway Installations Directive based in the UK, but a list of all Notified Bodies in the EU can be found on the Europa website.

Procedures for compliance with the Directive

Procedure to be followed for Safety Components

Before placing the components on the market, the Responsible Person must ensure that the components meet the requirements of the Directive and CE mark them correctly.

To do this a safety component must be submitted to a Notified Body for assessment, at the design and production stage. The Notified Body, via the assessment of conformity modules listed in Annex 5 of the Directive, checks compliance with the essential requirements. If the Notified Body deems that the components comply with the essential requirements, the responsible person can affix the CE marking (Annex 9) onto the component and must draw up an EC Declaration of Conformity (Annex 4).

Procedure to be followed for Subsystems

Before placing subsystems on the market, the Responsible Person must ensure that the components meet the requirements of the Directive and CE mark them correctly, in a similar fashion to that followed for Safety Components.

To do this the subsystem must be submitted to a Notified Body, at the design and production stage, for examination of product conformity according to Annex 7 of the Directive. If the subsystem is found to conform then they will draw up and issue an EC examination certificate and the technical documentation which accompanies it. The responsible person must then draw up the EC Declaration of Conformity, as outlined in Annex 6.

Procedure to be followed for Installations

There are two phases in relation to instations:

STAGE 1 AUTHORISATION: Authorisation of work for construction or modification of an installation. The main contractor must apply to the Authorisation Body. Authorisation is granted once it has been established that the proposed system will be safe, taking into account the environmental and engineering factors at the site, compliance with the essential requirements of the Directive for the components and subsystems and the competence of those involved in the construction.

STAGE 2 AUTHORISATION: Authorisation of putting into service a cableway installation. The operator/intended operator must apply to the Authorisation Body. This authorisation is granted once it has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Authorising Body that the installation has been undertaken correctly and that the system of monitoring the operating safety of the installation throughought its service life is adequate.

Only once both stages of Authorisation have been completed may the lift be legally put into service.

STAGE 1 AUTHORISATION - steps to be taken before submitting application

  1. Main contrator to undertake a safety analysis, as specified in Annex 3
  2. Prepare a safety report based on the findings, detailling the measures to be taken to deal with any risks identified.
  3. Compile a technical file from the safety analysis, safety report, EC Declarations of Conformity, etc
  4. Apply to Authorisation Body for Stage 1 authorisation, accompanying application with safety report etc. NOTE: If the installation is of an innovative approach, extra stages are required in the process to fully evaluate the approach and duly inform the Authorisation Body.
  5. If Authorised Body provides a Stage 1 authorisation to the main contractor, they can begin construction/modification of the installation. If a Stage 1 authorisation is refused, the main contractor and the Authorised Body need to resolve the issues behind the refusal. The main contractor can then submit another application for Stage 1 authorisation.

STAGE 2 AUTHORISATION - steps to be taken before a cableway installation can be put into service

  1. During the final stages of construction/modification or on completion of same, the operator must prepare to apply to an Authorised Body for a Stage 2 authorisation in respect of putting the cableway into service.
  2. The application is to be accompanied by the technical file and all relevant documentation regaring the procedure for monitoring operating safety. NOTE: Additional requirements are necessary if the installation/modification involves innovative approaches.
  3. The Authorised Body assesses the application and accepts/refuses to give a Stage 2 authorisation. The operator cannot put the installation into service without the Stage 2 authorisation.
  4. Once the installation is in service, the operator needs to comply with the Essential Requirements of the Directive.

The Technical File

A detailed technical file must be kept to clearly document the process and collate the technical documentation pertaining to the conformity of the installation and its components. This is both in terms of the safety of the installation, its components and sub-systems and also the ongoing safety monitoring procedure to be followed throughout the lifetime of the installation.

There is no exact list of the requirements of the Technical File. Obvious candidates for inclusion are details of any calculations made in the design of the appliance, copies of any relevant test certificates and component data sheets, operating instructions, circuit descriptions, maintenance requirements, all quality control procedures followed etc.

The European Commission have a detailed section on cableways with a great deal of useful information on their Europa server. This includes the full text of the directive, a very detailed (and very large!) application guide, details of the national transpositions of each Member State and lists of Harmonised standards and Notified Bodies.

Further advice

For further advice specific to your products, please contact us at Conformance and we will be pleased to discuss your needs. If you'd like us to prepare a no-obligation quote for assisting you with CE marking your products, please take a look at our page which gives details of the information required in order to be able to give you an accurate idea of the costs and procedures involved.

cableways.txt · Last modified: 2018/06/04 10:25 by Sarah Hall
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