Following the implementation of the Personal Protective Equipment (Enforcement) Regulations 2018 which provide an enforcement and penalty regime for (EU) 2016/425, the one-year transitional period for full implementation ends on 21st April 2019.
PPE designed and manufactured in accordance with the old Directive 89/686/EEC will no longer be allowed to enter the market after this date.
However, products with an EC type examination certificate will remain valid until 21st April 2023, unless the state of the art or standard has changed, the certificate expires before that date or changes have been made to the products safety features.
The Regulation changes are designed to improve ownership of those in the supply chain by clearly defining their legal obligation and to strengthen the product type approval process, improve market surveillance and increase the requirements on certain Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) categories.
For end users Regulation (EU) 2016/425 does not directly apply, Employers who select and use PPE within the organisation are covered by the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, which remain unaltered.
Purchasers of PPE should ensure that the PPE suppliers they use meet the new requirements and be aware that the supply chain may still supply products using the old directive accompanied with a current EC type examination certificate, however the products must be compliant with the requirements of the regulation and an EU declaration of conformity being available either with the product or on an identified website.
Purchasers should be aware of the products they use, and the standards they have been tested to.
This will make them better informed on what to look for when purchasing future PPE.