In March this year the European Commission published the new Gas Appliances Regulation, but what are the key changes and what does it mean for manufacturers and retailers of Gas products?
To answer this question we need to look back to the history of the Gas Appliances Directive (GAD) and the learning points from the implementation of that directive. It should be noted that the GAD dramatically increased the safety of gas appliances across Europe over its time in place and has been seen as a force for good. As with anything we should consider the learning points, and reflect and improve on what we know. These points, where appropriate, have been worked into the new regulation. I will discuss a few of them below.
The scope of the regulation remains pretty much the same as the GAD, however there have been some clarifications to the scope and definitions which are of importance:
- The definition of washing and cooking has been clarified to ensure legal certainty that products under these categories fall within the scope of the regulation. As an example, in the GAD "washing" was a category with little explanation. Does this include drying? It was assumed that this was the case however it was not clear in the text of the directive. There is now no doubt that it does.
- The exclusion for appliances having a normal water temperature exceeding 105°C has been removed closing a potentially dangerous loophole that exists. Effectively if your appliance had a water temperature of 105°C it was in the GAD if it was 106°C or above it wasn't. Presumably when the text was written it was assumed that these appliances would fall under the pressure equipment directive (PED) which would cover many other risks. However in reality the volumes and pressures being discussed meant that this was classified as "sound engineering practice" and it was then deferred to other directives which did not suitably cover the gas risks.
- The definition of "manufacturer" now includes persons who have products manufactured and marketed under their name and/or trademark. A subtle change I admit, however one which may have wide ranging impacts on retailers who don't manufacture. The responsibility for ensuring all conformity assessment is carried out now clearly rests on their shoulders.
The changes above are only a few of those made which may impact manufacturers of these products. I will discuss more on the changes in further posts in this series on the new Gas Appliances Regulation. For more information or to discuss any queries you may have, contact a member of our team on 0345 0765 606 or visit our product testing pages here.
Author: Greg Childs
Certification Team Manager