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Regulation on electrical equipment

No unsafe electrical products on the EU Single Market - that is the aim of the EU Member States. How this is done in practice, what rules exist and what manufacturers and importers have to observe, can be found there.

On 20 April 2016, the new version of the 1st Ordinance on the Product Safety Act (Regulation on Electrical Equipment - 1st ProdSV) entered into force. It implements the European Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU (LVD) into German law. Member States are now obliged to take all necessary measures to ensure that electrical products can be placed on the market only on the following conditions: they must be manufactured in accordance with the state of the art of safety laid down in the Community in such a way that

  • in case of proper installation and maintenance
  • if the intended usage is met

they do not put a hazard on the safety of humans and farm animals as well as the tangible assets.
This requirement of the 1st ProdSV is extended in § 3 (1) No. 2 of the Product Safety Act (ProdSG): Consequently, "the safety and health of persons or other legal assets listed in the legal regulations pursuant to § 8 Paragraph 1 in the case of intended or foreseeable usage should not be endangered". This will reinforce the European legislation due to the influence of the German legislator.

Safety through conformity

It is assumed that the basic health and safety requirements of the Low Voltage Directive are met when the products have been constructed

  • according to harmonised standards (LVD Article 12) or
  • according to international standards (LVD Article 13).

If neither harmonised nor international standards apply to a product, national standards may be applied in accordance with Article 14 of the Directive.

The presumption of conformity of the norms referred to in Article 12 applies only after the notification of those standards in the context of individual national procedures. The publication of the harmonised standards in the Official Journal of the European Communities is for information only.

In Germany, the relevant standards are published on the BAuA website.
The 1st ProdSV does not contain any information on the conformity assessment procedure. The presumption of conformity when referring to the harmonised standards is formulated in § 4 (1) of the ProdSG. According to this, the presumption of conformity only applies to the harmonised standards for electrical products subject to the first ProdSV. The list of standards with presumption of conformity with 1st ProdSV consists of two parts. Part 1 compiles the harmonised standards. Part 2 covers international and national standards, which also lead to presumption of conformity under the conditions of Articles 13 and 14 of the LVD. Thus the discrepancy between the 1st ProdSV and the LVD is abolished.

The CE mark

Electrical products subject to the LVD or the 1st ProdSV must be provided with the CE marking by the manufacturer or his authorised representative before being launched on the market. The CE mark indicates that electrical products bearing it comply with the provisions of the LVD or the 1st ProdSV, including the conformity assessment procedure according to Annex IV of the Low Voltage Directive.

The conformity assessment procedures including the CE marking may be carried out by the manufacturer himself within the scope of "internal production control" or by a notified body (independent, certified testing body). The lists of inspection bodies which are authorised to carry out a conformity assessment procedure are also published on the BAuA internet pages.

The following table shows the modules A, A1 and A2 of the "internal production control", according to the Decision No 768/2008/EC described on a common regulatory framework for the marketing of products:

Table 1: Description of the modules A, A1 and A2 of the "internal production control"
ModuleManufacturerManufacturer or his authorised representativeNotified office
A
  • draws up technical documentation about design, manufacture and operation of the product
  • takes all necessary measures, so that the manufacturing process guarantees the conformity of the products with the technical documentation and with the applicable requirements (i.e. using a quality assurance system)
  • ensures and declares that the products concerned meet the requirements
  • attaches the CE marking to each product
  • constitutes a declaration of conformity
  • maintains a copy of the declaration of conformity and the technical documentation available to the supervisory authorities
Aa1

As a complement to the obligations under module A

  • subcontracts each manufactured product from one or more tests or leaves it at his own expense
  • elects a notified body under whose responsibility the tests shall be carried out

As a complement to the obligations under module A:

  • affixes the identification number of the notified body behind the CE marking if this body has intervened in the production process
  • monitors the tests carried out by the manufacturer
  • supervises the affixing of its identification number if it was involved in the conformity assessment during the manufacturing process
  • stores relevant information
  • provides the other notified bodies with the relevant information at their request
Aa2

As in module A:

  • requests that product testing be carried out at arbitrary intervals

As a complement to the obligations under module A:

  • affixes the identification number of the notified body behind the CE marking
  • conducts product testing at arbitrary intervals, or delegates them and takes samples from the finished products
  • supervises the affixing of their identification number
  • stores a list of important information
  • provides the other notified bodies with the relevant information at their request