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Pressure Equipment Directive (PED): overview

The Pressure Equipment Directive (97/23/EC) was adopted by the European Parliament and the European Council in May 1997. It has initially come into force on 29 November 1999. From that date until 29 May 2002 manufacturers had a choice between applying the pressure equipment directive or continuing with the application of the existing national legislation. From 30 May 2002 the pressure equipment directive is obligatory throughout the EU.
Directive 2014/68/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of pressure equipment . Applicable from 19 July 2016.
The directive provides, together with the directives related to simple pressure vessels (2009/105/EC), transportable pressure equipment (99/36/EC) and Aerosol Dispensers (75/324/EEC), for an adequate legislative framework on European level for equipment subject to a pressure hazard.

The PED Directive arises from the European Community's Programme for the elimination of technical barriers to trade and is formulated under the "New Approach to Technical Harmonisation and Standards". Its purpose is to harmonise national laws of Member States regarding the design, manufacture, testing and conformity assessment of pressure equipment and assemblies of pressure equipment. It therefore aims to ensure the free placing on the market and putting into service of the equipment within the European Union and the European Economic Area. Formulated under the New Approach the directive provides for a flexible regulatory environment that does not impose any detailed technical solution. This approach allows European industry to develop new techniques thereby increasing international competitiveness. The pressure equipment directive is one of a series of technical harmonisation directives for machinery, electrical equipment, medical devices, simple pressure vessels, gas appliances etc.

The Directive concerns items such as vessels, pressurised storage containers, heat exchangers, steam generators, boilers, industrial piping, safety devices and pressure accessories. Such pressure equipment is widely used in the process industries (oil & gas, chemical, pharmaceutical, plastics and rubber and the food and beverage industry), high temperature process industry (glass, paper and board), energy production and in the supply of utilities, heating, air conditioning and gas storage and transportation.

Under the Community regime of the Directive, pressure equipment and assemblies above specified pressure and/or volume thresholds must:

  • be safe
  • meet essential safety requirements covering design, manufacture and testing
  • satisfy appropriate conformity assessment procedures and
  • carry the CE marking and other information.

Pressure equipment and assemblies below the specified pressure / volume thresholds must:

  • be safe
  • be designed and manufactured in accordance with the sound engineering practice of a Member State and
  • bear specified markings (but not the CE marking).

Download Directive 2014/68/EU on Pressure equipment :

  • Directive 2014/68/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15┬áMay 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of pressure equipment

Pressure Equipment Directive (PED): guidelines

In order to ensure a coherent application of the pressure equipment directive Guidelines are currently being established and agreed in the framework of the Commission's working group "Pressure". This working group is composed of representatives of Member States, European federations, the Notified Bodies Forum and CEN and chaired by a representative of the Commission services.

Status of the guidelines

The guidelines are not a legally binding interpretation of the directive. The legally binding text remains that of directive 97/23/EC. However the guidelines represent a reference for ensuring consistent application of the directive by all those involved. They represent, unless indicated differently in the respective guideline text, the unanimous opinion of the member states experts.

Guidelines set out under this chapter

Guidelines set out under this chapter have been agreed to by the Commission's working group "Pressure". They are of the format Question-Answer. Whenever a listed question has no answer, this means that the discussion on this guideline has not been finalized yet. The relevant answer will appear as soon as the Guideline is adopted. Their presentation is likely to be modified in the future. Further guidelines are currently being developed and will be set out as soon as they are agreed.

Download PED Guidelines :

Harmonised Standards