Safety requirements for machinery

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

If you build machinery in the Netherlands, it has to comply with the safety requirements referred to in the European Machinery Directive (Machinerichtlijn).

The Machinery Directive imposes requirements on several products:

  • machines (even if only partly completed)
  • interchangeable equipment
  • safety components
  • lifting accessories
  • chains, ropes and webbing
  • removable mechanical transmission devices

Do you manufacture these products for your own use? You do need to comply with European Directive 2006/42/EC on machinery. Article 2 of the directive describes the products that are subject to these safety requirements. Article 1.2 describes which products are excluded.

Which requirements apply to your machinery?

In annex I of the directive you can find the safety requirements that apply. These apply to such aspects as:

Please note that machinery may be subject to other directives as well. For instance the directives on electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), on pressure equipment, or on Low voltage.


Do you manufacture or import products that are subject to the Machinery Directive? You must enclose a user manual with the products. The requirements which the manual must fulfil differ according to product type. There are however minimal requirements for all user manuals. They should for instance be provided in a language the user understands well. For machines governed by the Machinery Directive, for example, you must provide a manual in the language of the country in which you market the product (for instance a German-language manual if you market the prodcut in Germany).

CE marking

Does your product fulfil all safety requirements the Machine Directive demands? You must affix CE marking on the product.

For more information on CE marking and the Machinery Directive, including an easy to use tool, take a look at the Euronorm website.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO