The MSD 2006/42/EC Directive applies to all machinery and to safety components. A machine is defined as “an assembly … of linked parts or components, at least one of which moves…”. Clearly this definition encompasses a very large range of machines, from simple hand-held power tools through to complete automated industrial production lines.

There are some exclusions from the Directive – for example motor vehicles used on public roads (which are covered by Directive MVD 2007/46/EC), weapons and machines which are already covered by other, more specific, directives (e.g. lifts and toys – which are covered by TSD 2009/48/EC). It is also possible for the Machinery Directive to apply alongside other directives when there are hazards which the more specific directive does not fully cover, for example the lifting function of medical devices used to move patients. Certain specific types of equipment which fit the definition of machinery but are also within the scope of the Low Voltage Directive are also excluded from the Machinery Directive on the grounds that the risks they present are mainly electrical in nature. These include “ordinary office machinery” and “household appliances for domestic use”.

Secondhand machinery which was first used within the European Economic Area prior to the date of the implementation of the old directive (i.e. before 1 January 1995) is excluded from having to comply with new Directive. However, if that machinery is refurbished or upgraded so that its original specification is changed, it will have to be made to comply with the full requirements of the Directive.

Any machinery which was manufactured before 1 January 1995 must be made to comply with the directive if it subsequently brought into Europe from outside just as would any newer machinery manufactured outside the EU.

Equipment manufactured for the manufacturer’s own use is not excluded from the requirements, but may be subject to slightly lesser obligations with respect to marking and documentation.

In addition to the products within the scope of MSD 98/37/EC, MSD 2006/42/EC now also includes the following products:


  • Escalators and mechanical walkways;
  • Construction-site hoists;
  • Elevators with max. = 0,15 m/s2;
  • Partly completed machinery;
  • Lifting accessories (chains, ropes and webbing);
  • Stage elevators (not for persons);
  • Road vehicles with max. 25 km/h;
  • Removable mechanical-transmission devices;
  • Two/three-wheel motor vehicles with max. 6 km/h.

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