Why are Notified Bodies important? In our industry, they determine whether a product meets the health and safety requirements of the PPE Directive and award it a CE mark (it is illegal to offer any item of PPE for sale in Europe without a CE mark). In the new PPE Regulation there are significantly more obligations and requirements that do not appear in the current Directive.
One of the requirements for Notified Bodies in the new Regulation is an obligation to co-ordinate and co-operate. UK Notified Bodies already do just that within the BSIF Test and Certification Association.
Every UK Notified Body designated for PPE is a member, and the Association meets four times a year to review and discuss reports from the European groups, raise issues around standards and test methods, and liaise as a body with delegates who also attend from UKAS and BIS.
Notified Bodies also test the performance of products to EN Standards and award an EC Type Examination Certificate for products that pass.
Both these processes will continue under the PPE Regulation from 21st April 2018, the end of its two year transition period. The Regulation brings into European law many requirements and obligations that are not in the Directive, but they are not unfamiliar to us because they have been part of decisions made and applied since the Directive was written. The majority are to align this Regulation with many others, using a common template from the European New Legislative Framework (NLF).
The next Association meeting is later this month and will concentrate entirely on raising issues and gaining clarity to develop the necessary guidance in applying the Regulation. Two years is not a long time!
“BE PREPARED…The countdown has started…
The BSIF are planning two free seminars for members to discuss directly with BIS their comments and questions on the new PPE Regulation:
5th July 2016 – 10am-3pm – 3M Centre, Bracknell
12th July 2016 – 10am-3pm – Marriott Hotel, Manchester Airport
places will be allocated ‘first come, first served’. Please register with Frank Angear (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to attend.”