Gas appliances

Recent developments

On 13 May 2014, the European Commission proposed to replace the gas appliances directive by a directly applicable regulation. This means that the 28 pieces of national legislation transposing the current directive will be replaced by one single piece of legislation, which will be available in all official languages of the EU.

The Commission claims the revised proposal will introduce more coherent rules which will lower compliance costs for businesses, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, and include clearer responsibilities for manufacturers, importers and distributors selling products. Furthermore, the revised legislation is intended to improve product safety through better traceability and strengthen national market surveillance.

Legislative framework

The Gas Appliances Directive (GAD) 2009/142/EC constitutes the legal framework for gas appliances in the EU Member States. It aims to provide access to the EU market for appliances and fittings in so far the gas safety of these products is concerned.

The scope of the GAD is restricted to appliances burning gaseous fuels used for cooking, heating, hot water production, refrigeration, lighting and washing, i.e. the GAD covers mainly common consumer and commercial products. Regulating, controlling and safety devices intended to be incorporated into appliances - so-called fittings - are also covered. Appliances specifically designed for use in industrial processes carried out on industrial premises are excluded.

The GAD contains the essential requirements that an appliance or a fitting must meet when it is placed on the EU market. It does not indicate how these requirements must be met, thus leaving flexibility to manufacturers as regards technical solutions to be adopted. In order to facilitate market access, Harmonised Standards, the reference numbers of which have been published in the Official Journal of the EU, provide a presumption of conformity with the directive's essential requirements.