The LVD 2014/35/EU ( Low Voltage Directive) of the European Parliament and of the Council on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits is entered into force on the 20th April 2016 replacing the previous Directive 2006/95/EC. The Low Voltage Directive was one of the eight directives harmonised with NLF as a part of a so-called ’Alignment Package’.
The Low Voltage Directive ensures that electrical equipment provides a high level of protection of health and safety of persons, and of domestic animals and property.
Therefore, the Low Voltage Directive lays down the essential requirements to protect against hazards that could arise from within the electrical equipment itself or from external influences.
- Chapter 1: General Provisions- Article 1-5
- Chapter 2: Obligation of economic operators- Article 6-11
- Chapter 3: Conformity of the electrical equipment – Article 12- 17
- Chapter 4: Union market surveillance and control of apparatus entering the Union market and Union safeguard procedure – Article 18-22
- Chapter 5: Committee, Transitional and final provisions – Article 23- 29
- Annex I: Principal elements of the safety objectives for electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits
- Annex II: Equipment and phenomena outside the scope of this Directive
- Annex III: Module A – Internal production control
- Annex IV: EU Declaration of Conformity
- Annex V: Time-limits for transposition into national law and dates of application of the Directives set out in Part B of Annex V to Directive 2006/95/EC
- Annex VI: Correlation table
The term “electrical equipment” is not defined in the directive. It is to be interpreted according to the internationally recognized meaning of this term. The definition of electric equipment in the International Electro Technical Vocabulary of IEC (International Electro Technical Commission) is: “item used for such purposes as generation, conversion, transmission, distribution or utilization of electrical energy, such as machines, transformers, switchgear and control gear, measuring instruments, protective devices, wiring material, current-using equipment.”
The LVD Directive includes both electrical equipment and components designed for use with a voltage rating between 50 and 1000 V for alternating current (AC) or between 75 and 1500 V for direct current (DC). These voltage ratings refer to the voltage of the electrical input or output, not to voltages that may appear inside the equipment.
Equipment listed in Annex II LVD 2014/35/EU are excluded from the scope of the Directive:
- Electrical equipment for use in an explosive atmosphere
- Electrical equipment for radiology and medical purposes
- Electrical parts for goods and passenger lifts
- Electricity meters
- Plugs and socket outlets for domestic use
- Electric fence controllers
- Radio-electrical interference
- Specialised electrical equipment, for use on ships, aircraft or railways, which complies with the safety provisions drawn up by international bodies in which the Member States participate.
- Custom built evaluation kits destined for professionals to be used solely at research and development facilities for such purposes.
In the main, these are items which are covered under other more specific directives or which are subject to international legislation outside of the jurisdiction of the EU.
Conformity assessment procedure (Annex III- Internal production control):
The manufacturer puts together the technical documentation which makes it possible to assess whether the electrical equipment complies with the requirements of the directive. It contains at least the elements set out in the Annex III.
The essential requirements
The essential requirements cover all risks arising from the use of electrical equipment, including not just electrical ones but also mechanical, chemical (such as, in particular, emission of aggressive substances), health aspects of noise and vibration, and ergonomic aspects which could cause hazard within the scope of the LVD Directive.
Non-compliance with the directive’s requirements will result in the removal of the apparatus from the market and the revoking of the CE marking affixed on the electrical equipment.