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SME Safety, the European association of small and medium-sized
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SBS Forum on Personal Protective Equipment 2019

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Renewal of EC certificates for PPE: what SMEs say

May 15, 2015

The proposal for Regulation for PPE as issued by the European Commission in March 2014 introduces a new limit to the validity of EU type certificates. The reality is that, for most SMEs in Europe, certificates are already valid no more than 5 years, even if the new Regulation is not yet adopted. In fact, the European Coordination of Notified Bodies already agreed and (unilaterally) decided that certificates can only last 5 years1.

Now,timepiecebuy.org the powerful lobby of Notified Bodies convinced the European Commission that it is necessary to impose a limit of validity of certificates. The argument used is that, without such limit, there are many allegedly unsafe products on the market since they might be certified against old harmonised standards that have been modified in the meantime2.

However, while the system is in place for decades (the PPE directive is from 1989), there is no evidence of unsafe PPE on the market for compliance with out-dated standards. The untold argument is that Notified Bodies want the Regulation to give them more work, i.e. more money from companies.
SMEs are seriously concerned that the legal obligation to renew their EU type certificates may seriously affect them by imposing excessive and unnecessary costs.

SME Safety expressed these concerns on behalf of SMEs in its position paper and formulated concrete proposals for the new PPE Regulation. 



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