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Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for Use Outdoors Directive 2000/14/EC

Subject area

Sound power levels of equipment for use outdoors.

Intention of legislation

To control and monitor noise of equipment for use outdoors so as to reduce noise nuisance; to remove technical barriers to trade arising out of member States' different noise requirements; to simplify legislation by including existing directives. Manufacturers are required to measure or have measured the sound power level of 57 categories of equipment, 22 of which will have to meet limits. Noise test methods will be harmonised standards wherever possible with a choice of conformity assessment procedures.

Labels will need to be affixed to each item of equipment showing the guaranteed sound power level and declarations of conformity will need to be issued.

Coverage

Equipment for use outdoors comprising a wide range of Construction plant and equipment, including that in the previous directives, equipment for gardens, for lifting, pumps, drills, saws, etc. A detailed list of equipment is given below.

Brief history

Since about 1990 several member states have pressed the Commission to review noise requirements in existing noise limit directives and impose new requirements for other equipment.

Current position

The Directive entered into force on 3 July 2000. The provisions of the Directive became mandatory on 3 January 2002.

The Directive has been transposed into UK law by The Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for use Outdoors Regulations 2001 (S.I. 2001/1701) and entered into force on 3 July 2001.

Notified Bodies have been appointed and underwent assessment to the Guidelines for Organisations seeking Notified Body status to Undertake Noise Emission Testing, Inspection and Certification (see related documents, on the right).

The Directive applies noise limits to the 22 equipment types in two stages. The first stage was 3 January 2002. The second stage is 3 January 2006. However, recently the European Commission have accepted that for 9 equipment types in particular it will not be possible to meet the stage II limits for technical reasons and have proposed a short amendment to the Directive which will aim to remove the Stage II limits in these cases. The amending Directive requires Member States to transpose it into national law by 31 December 2005 and apply provisions from 3 January 2006. The legislation therefore needed to be amended prior to 3 January 2006 in order to avoid the unintended consequence of equipment being removed from the European market.

Following a period of Consultation, the Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for Use Outdoors (Amendment) Regulations 2005, S.I. 2005 No. 3525 came into force on 3 January 2006.

A copy of the amendment Regulations can be obtained from the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI)

The Consultation document and the response can be found on the right, together with the Regulatory Impact Assessment.

Updated guidance material will be made available shortly. In the meantime any enquiries should be addressed to Angela Finch - see below.

Future work

We will continue to represent the UK at future Noise Committee meetings in Brussels and contribute to the Commission's review of the Directive over the next year or so.

Guidance

Comprehensive guidance booklets are available from the right, or please visit Publications @ BERR. You can order a hard copy of our Product standards guide online via BERR Publications.

In March 2006 the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) relaunched its Noise web pages advising on what you need to do to reduce and control the risks from noise at work. (There will also be a small communications campaign to raise awareness of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 until the end of April.)

Contact Angela Finch, Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, Bay 384, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET, Tel 020 7215 1438, Fax 020 7215 2635.


EQUIPMENT SUBJECT TO NOISE LIMITS

builders' hoists for the transport of goods (combustion-engine-driven) compaction machines (only self-propelled and walk-behind vibrating and non-vibrating rollers, vibratory plates and vibratory rammers)
compressors (<350 kW)
concrete-breakers and picks, hand-held construction winches(combustion-engine driven)
dozers (<500kW)
dumpers (<500 kW)
excavators, hydraulic or rope-operated (<500 kW) excavator-loaders (<500 kW)
graders (<500 kW)
hydraulic power packs
landfill compactors, loader-type with bucket (<500 kW) lawnmowers (excluding:
= agricultural and forestry equipment;
= multi-purpose devices, the main motorized component of which has an installed power of more than 20 kW)
lawn trimmers/lawn edge trimmers
lift trucks (only combustion-engine driven counterbalanced lift trucks) loaders (<500 kW)
motor hoes (< 3kW)
mobile cranes
paver-finishers (excluded are paver-finishers with a high compaction screed)
power generators (<400 kW)
tower cranes
welding generators 

EQUIPMENT NOT SUBJECT TO NOISE LIMITS

aerial access platforms with combustion engine
brush cutters
builders' hoists for the transport of goods (with electric motor)
building site band saw machines
building site circular saw benches
chain saws, portable
combined high pressure flushers and suction vehicles
compaction machines (only explosion rammers)
concrete or mortar mixers
construction winches (with electric motor)
conveying and spraying machines for concrete and mortar
conveyor belts
cooling equipment on vehicles
drill rigs
equipment for loading and unloading tanks or silos on trucks
glass recycling containers
grass trimmers /grass edge trimmers
hedge trimmers
high pressure flushers
high pressure water jet machines
hydraulic hammers
joint cutters
leaf blowers
leaf collectors
lift trucks, combustion-engine driven, counterbalanced (only "other counterbalanced lift trucks" with a rated capacity of not more than 10t)
mobile waste containers
paver finishers (equipped with a high-compaction screed)
piling equipment
pipelayers
piste caterpillars power generators (=> 400 kw)
power sweepers
refuse collection vehicles
road milling machines
scarifiers
shredders/chippers
snow-removing systems with rotating tools (self-propelled, excluding attachments)
suction vehicles
trenchers
truck mixers
water pump units (not for use under water)