New rules for machinery
On 22 May 2023, the Council of the European Union (Council) updated Directive 2006/42/EC (2006 Machinery Directive) by adopting the new legislation to the regulation on construction machinery (Construction Machinery Regulation) proposed by the European Parliament. The 2006 Machinery Directive was introduced to standardise health and safety requirements for machinery across member states and to help eliminate obstacles to trade between such member states. However, experience of the 2006 Machinery Directive has indicated insufficiencies and discrepancies in product standards and conformity assessments procedures. The Council has stated that the new Construction Machinery Regulation "harmonises the essential health and safety requirements for machinery in the EU, promote the free movement of machinery and ensure a high level of safety for workers and citizens" and provides a new and improved legal framework for the construction industry. The Construction Machinery Regulation introduces mandatory third –party assessment for six categories of machinery that are deemed 'high-risk'.
New rules for construction products
On 23 May 2023, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee of the European Parliament (Committee) adopted a draft report on the revision of the construction products regulation (Construction Products Regulation). The aim of the review by the Committee was to make the final regulation proposed by the Commission more user-friendly, and ultimately more accessible and understandable by the construction industry. In all, some 300 amendments were proposed and adopted by the Committee. Some keys aspects of the Construction Products Regulation (to include revisions contained in the Committee's draft report) are as follows:
- Improved efficiency of product standardisation and removal of differing product requirements across member states, which have traditionally created barriers to trade within the EU.
- Promotion of sustainability through green public procurement by establishing certain criteria that organisers of tenders would be encouraged, but not required, to use.
- Creation of both a digital product passport and a registry to store information included in such passports (for example, details of technical elements, deadlines and transitional arrangements, rights and obligations and allocation of responsibility of the involved parties).
- Changes to the scope of the Construction Products Regulation. For example, the Construction Products Regulation will no longer apply to products manufactured at the construction site before installation (as this is considered a service rather than a production process) or to small prefabricated one-family houses of certain size.
As the Construction Machinery Regulation has been approved by the Council, it is now deemed adopted and is awaiting signature by the President of the European Parliament and the President of the Council to be enacted. Once signed, the Regulation will be published in the Official Journal and will come into force 20 days after its publication. Member states and economic operators will have 42 months before the rules of the Construction Machinery Regulation are applied.
Following the adoption of the draft report on the revision of the Construction Products Regulation by the Committee on the 23 May, it will now go to plenary for formal approval by Parliament, most likely in July 2023. Once approved, trilogue negotiations within the Council should then be able to start after the summer break.