PPE Directive 89/686/EEC is now over 20 years old and, therefore, needs updating to reflect current technologies and processes of bringing PPE to the market.

On 21st April 2018, the current PPE Directive 89/686/EEC will be repealed by the new “PPE Regulation EU 2016/425” after a two-year transition period. (HSE, European Community law on the supply of new products)

It is worth mentioning that the current  PPE legislation is a Directive – a legislative act setting out objectives for EU countries to achieve in their own way, by a certain date. The new PPE legislation will be reclassified as a PPE Regulation – binding legislative act, which must be applied precisely across the EU by each member country.

As well as reflecting new technology, the new PPE Regulation has been shaped to enhance consumer safety and ensure fair competition between companies. The change will be beneficial for safety managers and PPE buyers in that if they source a reputable supplier, they can be confident that their PPE will give them the protection they expect and need, as the products will have gone through all the required steps three times before they buy it.

The upcoming changes are briefly summarised below. If you would like more information, please follow this link.

  • A number of types of protection will move from category II (intermediate) to category III (complex)
  • Moving hearing protection from Category II to Category III PPE;
  • Moving life jackets from Category II to Category III PPE;
  • There will be a requirement to supply a declaration of conformity ( or an electronic link to the Declaration of Conformity on the User Instructions), with every item of PPE that is placed on the market
  • A five-year certificate of validity is being suggested bringing the Regulation in line with similar European requirements such as the Medical Devices Directive.

The Regulation directly affects PPE importers, distributors and retailers, who will have to share responsibility for providing safe and effective products with manufacturers. Anyone in the PPE industry is now legally required to comply with the PPE Regulation (including “Online Vendors”).

There will be new obligations upon manufacturers, importers & distributors to hold copies of PPE  Technical Files, Product Type Examination Certificates and Declarations of Conformity & keep records of these documents for at least 10 years, ensuring User Instructions are provided with each product and in the correct language, as well as ensuring that transport & storage do not harm the PPE’s efficacy or Conformity & to indicate on the PPE their Product Code or I.D. & postal address where they may be contacted.

Greenham are fully cognisant of its responsibilities and obligations to you in respect of the New PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425, and working closely with the BSIF, will ensure to fully comply at every stage of its implementation on your behalf. We will always be ahead of the game in keeping you, our Customers, safe at work.