The following information is a summary of the requirements of the Directive. It is not an area in which we currently offer advice but you may find some useful information and links here.
This directive applies to a range of gas burning appliances that operate up to a normal temperature of 105 °C and some fittings including safety, regulating and controlling devices and sub-assemblies. The directive became mandatory from the start of 1996, therefore all gas appliances sold that fall within the scope of the directive must be CE marked. However, there are exclusions from the directive including products for industrial use on industrial premises. The directive defines as gas a fuel which is in a gaseous state at 15 °C at a pressure of 1 bar, therefore excluded appliances that run on natural gas and LPG amongst others. When secondhand products are sold, they are only required to comply with the essential safety requirements of the directive. Manufacturers of new products must meet protection requirements which are checked through type testing, compile a technical file, mark the product with a CE logo and implement production quality control.
This directive requires type testing and production quality to be tested and approved by an Independent body notified as competent by the European Commission. To satisfy the requirements for production quality control, manufacturers must adopt 1 of 5 different procedures that must be checked by a notified body. These procedures differ in proportion of products checked, how these are selected and whether the products themselves are checked or the production method if this can guarantee production quality control.
The directive relating to appliances burning gaseous fuels aims to create a single market throughout Europe in domestic and commercial gas appliances by introducing common safety requirements for all gas appliances. By making the rules for the design of gas appliances the same in every member state of the EU, manufacturers and hence consumers, should benefit from economies of scale and the reduction in costs that this brings.
The Directive was originally enacted in 1990 but was modified in 1993 by Directive 93/68/EEC to make the requirements for the use of the CE mark and the attestation modules more consistent with the other CE marking directives.
In late 2009, the Commission introduced 2009/142/EC, a codified directive which brought together the original text of 90/396/EC and its amendments in a single document, and simplified the language in some places. The new Directive came into force on 5 January 2010, and all new Declarations issues after this date should refer to 2009/142/EC instead of the old Directive.
The Directive was introduced from 1 January 1992 and became mandatory from 1 January 1996. In the intervening period, appliances could be sold without having to be CE marked, but only if they met the national requirements of the country in which they were to be sold. From 1 January 1996, all appliances withint he scope of the Directive and sold within the EEA have to be CE marked.
The directives applies to:
- Gas burning appliances used for heating, cooking, water heating, refrigeration, lighting and washing operating at a normal temperature of up to 105°C
- Fittings i.e. safety, regulating or controlling devices and sub assemblies which are separately marketed for trade use and which are intended for incorporation in appliances.
Gas is defined as any fuel in a gaseous state when at 15°C and 1 bar and therefore includes natural gas (methane) and all types of bottled LPG (propane, butane and mixtures)
The only exclusion is for appliances specifically intended for industrial processes on industrial premises. No matter what size of appliance, the Directive applies to any piece of equipment which is used for heating a room or space to allow people to work more comfortably. However, an industrial heating process where parts or assemblies are heated as part of their manufacture is not included.
Second hand appliances do not require CE marking, type testing or production control, but they must still meet the essential safety requirements of the Directive.
The Directive requires the following of manufacturers:
- Appliances to be type tested to demonstrate they meet the protection requirements of the Directive
- Manufacturer to produce a Technical File
- Products to be marked with the CE logo
- Production quality controls to be implemented
The Directive defines certain requirements about the design and performance of appliances in a series of Essential Requirements. The requirements include (but are not limited to):
Appliances are to be:
- provided with appropriate installation, maintenance and user instructions,
- built of appropriate materials and components,
- designed so as not to be adversely affected by such conditions as condensation, bad weather, fluctuation in supply etc.,
- capable of withstanding normal wear and tear,
- prevent the release of unburned gas,
- ignite reliably and safely,
- designed not to attain excessive temperatures, especially on controls
- efficient to use only a 'rational' amount of energy
- built to provide the appropriate degree of protection against contamination for water and foodstuffs.
These protection requirements are included in the Directive itself, but the details of the requirements are contained in a number of standards. The standards should be used as a guide to the design of any particular piece of apparatus.
Type test procedures
The Directive is unusual in that it is one of the few which requires that all gas appliances and fittings undergo type testing by an independent body notified as being competent by the European Commission. A sample of the product is tested to the harmonised European standard and if it is found to comply, a certificate is issued accordingly. Fittings incorporated into appliances should also be CE marked.
As part of the type test procedure, the manufacturer must also supply the test house with certain information about the design and manufacture of the appliance, in the form of a Technical File. Items to be provided in the technical file include:
- copies of the installation and maintenance instructions
- user instruction manual
- details of the parts and materials used in the appliance
- drawings, diagrams etc.
- performance reports
- details of CE certifications for any fittings used in an appliance
- details of the measures which will be taken by the manufacturer to ensure that they can and will control series production.
In addition to type test, there are also strict controls to ensure that series production consistently produces safe product. Manufacturers are required to adopt one of five different procedures in which the notified body checks the production capabilities of the manufacturer:
EC Declaration of Conformity to Type (Random Inspections): product safety is verified by on-site random testing of the product by the test house to check that series production results in product identical to that tested.
EC Declaration of Conformity to Type (Guarantee of Production Quality): product safety is verified by demonstration of production control capable of ensuring that series production units are identical to the ones type-tested. This method requires the manufacturer to have a quality system approved to ISO9002.
EC Declaration of Conformity to Type: (Guarantee of Product Quality). Product safety is verified by demonstration of finished goods inspection capable of ensuring that series production units are identical to the ones type tested. This method requires the manufacturer to have a quality system approved to ISO9003.
EC Verification: Product safety is verified on every appliance in a production batch, or by a statistically selected sample from each batch.
EC Verification by Single Unit: A type test is performed on each production unit (in effect). This is really only suitable for very small batches of production, i.e. specialist equipment.
As with all CE marking directives, the actual requirements for any piece of equipment under the directive are complex and dependent on not only the design but also the type of user, the intended use and sometimes even what is claimed in the instructions or sales literature.