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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.


As of 21 April 2018, Directive 89/686/EEC will be repealed by the new Regulation (EU) 2016/425 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on personal protective equipment.

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) directive covers “any device or appliance designed to be worn or held by an individual for protection against one or more health and safety hazards”.

  • All manufacturers of personal protective equipment are required to meet common standards of quality and performance. In addition, the directive lays down a series of basic health and safety requirements which can be complied with directly for simple equipment and which form the basis of a series of standards for the design and performance of more complex equipment.

  • The directive makes no distinction between PPE used for work purposes and that used for leisure.

  • The directive came fully into force in June 1995; non-compliant equipment must not be sold, this includes old stock manufactured before the directive came into force.

  • The manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that the directive is adhered to. In the UK, the Trading Standards Service enforces the directive. Failure to comply can lead to up to 3 months in prison and/or a fine of up to £5000. Furthermore, manufacturers can be required to recall and replace any equipment found to be faulty.