The New Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC applicable since 29 December 2009 provides the regulatory basis for the harmonisation of the essential health and safety requirements for machinery at EU level. This "New Approach" Directive promotes harmonisation through a combination of mandatory health and safety requirements and voluntary harmonised standards for products which are intended to be placed (or put into service) on the EU market for the first time. The majority of FEM products are covered by this directive. The new directive does not introduce radical changes but aims at consolidating the achievements of the previous directive 98/37/EC in terms of free circulation and safety of machinery while improving its application. The directive was amended in 2009 with specific provisions relating to machinery for pesticide application.
In December 2009, the European Commission published official guidelines - first part interpreting the new directive and aiming at facilitating its implementation by EU Member States and manufacturers. In particular, it attempts to clarify market surveillance rules and the new technical requirements on marking, fixed guard, fitness for purpose...The document is being finalised (remaining annexes 3 to 11) within a Commission editorial group composed of public authorities, notified bodies and industry representatives. The FEM Task Force, itself composed of PG representatives and FEM manufacturers, contributes to the work on these guidelines to ensure that they reflect the interests of its industry.