Low Voltage Directive
The Low Voltage Directive is being repealed and replaced by the recast or new Low Voltage Directive. For those of you who track these by the Directive numbers, the old Low Voltage Directive 2006/95/EC is being replaced by 2014/35/EU. The major changes in the recast Low Voltage Directive include:
- Change of scope to include the protection of people, domestic animals, and property (Article 1)
- Market surveillance procedures have been added (Article 19)
- Clarifying the responsibility of the manufacturer in preparing the documentation for CE Marking and the EU DoC (Article 6)
- Traceability via a type, batch, serial number, or other means of identifying the product (Article 6)
- Retention of documentation and DoC for 10 years after placing the product on the market (Article 6; Article 7; Article 8; Annex III, Module 2, 4.2 )
- Technical documentation must include an analysis of risk associated with the product (Annex III, Module A, 2)
When is it effective?
- The old Low Voltage Directive will be repealed on April 20, 2016. (Article 27)
- The recast Low Voltage Directive goes into force on April 20, 2016. (Article 28)
How do you know if you are subject to the Low Voltage Directive?
- If your product operates with an input voltage greater than 50 VAC and less than 1,000 VAC or 75 VDC and less than 1,500 VDC then your product is subject to the Low Voltage Directive.
- Products with an input voltage less than 50 VAC or 75 VDC are still subject to the General Product Safety Directive.
- Electrical equipment for use in an explosive atmosphere, radiological and medical purpose, lifts, electricity meters, plugs and socket outlets, electric fence controllers, Radio-electrical interference or special use equipment such as ships, aircraft, railways, or custom built for research and development facilities is excluded from the scope of the Low Voltage Directive, but likely covered under other specific Directives. (see Annex II)
- If your product is subject the Radio Equipment Directive (Previously the R&TTE Directive), then your product is subject to the Low Voltage Directive regardless of the operating voltage. (2014/53/EU, Article 3)
What should you do?
- Now is a good time to check the standards your product was tested to and make sure the testing is up to date with changes in the standards. If not, you will want to have testing conducted to ensure the product meets the latest adopted standard in the Official Journal. You can check the harmonized standards that are published in the Official Journal at the following URL: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/european-standards/harmonised-standards/index_en.htm and then select the Low Voltage Directive. The list of harmonized standards are not changing between the old and recast Directive.
- Update your DoC to reflect the Directives and standards the product complies with. Products being placed on the market in the EU on or after April 20, 2016 subject to the Low Voltage Directive should reference the recast Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU.
- Review your CE marking on your product and ensure it complies with the requirements.
- Make sure your retention policy for your technical construction file meets the 10 year requirement in the Low Voltage Directive from the time the product is placed on the EU market.