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Interpretation Paper "Substantial Modification to Machinery"

Interpretation of the term "substantial modification to machinery"

This page provides an interpretation of the term "substantial modification to machinery" with regard to the application of the Machinery Directive to modified machinery.

In the case of modifications or modernisations, extensive changes to machinery are often necessary in order to adapt them to the current state of the art. For example, in case of equipping machinery with new, more powerful drives and/or protective devices or with new control software. The question arising is whether these changes are far-reaching enough to make the assembly a new machine in terms of law. If these modifications are substantial, the newly created machine is also subject to today's requirements for placing it on the market.

The interpretation paper has been prepared by a working group under the aegis of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, BMAS), with the participation of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin, BAuA), the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector of the State of Baden-Württemberg (Ministerium für Umwelt, Klima und Energiewirtschaft Baden-Württemberg) as representative of the Federal States for the EC Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC (MRL) in consultation with the market surveillance authorities of the Federal States, the German Statutory Accident Insurance (Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung, DGUV), individual accident insurance institutions, the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau, VDMA) and VGB PowerTech e.V. as a specialist association for electricity and heat generation.

It has been published as an official notification (notification of the BMAS of 9 April 2015, IIIb5-39607-3) in the Joint Ministerial bulletin GMBl 2015, page 183