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Summary

This Directive (2014/68/EU) applies to the design, manufacture and conformity assessment of pressure equipment and assemblies with a maximum allowable pressure greater than 0.5 bar gauge including vessels, piping, safety accessories and pressure accessories. Not all pressure equipment is covered by this directive as The Transportable Pressure Equipment Directive and the Simple Pressure Vessels Directive both cover certain equipment and products which present a relatively low hazard from pressurization are covered by the Machinery Directive.

The Directive defines a number of classifications for pressure equipment, based on their hazard level which is determined based on stored energy (pressure-volume product) and the nature of the contained fluid. Assessment and conformity procedures are different for each category, ranging from self-certification for the lowest (category I) hazard up to full ISO9001 quality management and/or notified body type examination for category IV equipment. Aspects of the design, production and testing of the equipment are the subject of a large number of harmonized standards to aid compliance with the essential requirements of the directive.

Manufacturers must also provide adequate instructions with equipment, complete a specified declaration of conformity and maintain a technical file of information about how the equipment was designed and manufactured. Pressure equipment must be marked with the manufacturer, unique identification of model and serial number, the year of manufacture, maximum/minimum allowable pressure limits and the CE logo.

Purpose

Directive 2014/68/EU, the Pressure Equipment Directive (PED), is one of a series of measures intended to create a single European market in which the technical requirements for goods are identical, thus allowing manufacturers easy access to a market with a spending power greater than that of the Yen or the Dollar.

The purpose of the PED is to provide for a legal structure whereby pressure equipment can be manufactured and sold throughout the European community without having to go through a local approval regime in every member state. The means by which this is achieved is to ensure common standards of safety in all pressure equipment sold within the European Economic Area.

Manufacturers are therefore able to meet the requirements for approval in any member state of the EU, and do not have to repeat the process when selling goods in any other state.

In most cases, clearly, manufacturers will have their equipment approved in their home state. Manufacturers outside of the EU may also have approvals and test work undertaken at their own factory (and in many cases this is obligatory) but responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the directive will ultimately rest on the person responsible for placing the product on the EU market place.

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