The new EU Machinery Safety Regulation is coming. Are you ready?

Last updated on July 11th, 2023 at 08:45 am

On 2023-06-14, the EU passed the new Machinery Safety Regulation. The new Regulation was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 2023-06-29 [1]. This legislation repeals the 2006/42/EC Machinery Directive, just not right away.

If you are a machine builder, you have




2006/42/EC is fully repealed and replaced by Regulation 2023/1230

to get ready for the changes. What’s your plan?


Rule books stacked up on a table in a library.

The EU has passed the new Machinery Safety Regulation (Regulation 2023/1230), which replaces the 2006/42/EC Machinery Directive. The new regulation will come into force on July 14, 2023, and there is a transition period until January 14, 2027. During this period, machine builders can choose to comply with either the old directive or the new regulation. However, starting from January 2027, machines built for the EU market must fully comply with Regulation 2023/1230. The EU Commission has not yet released guidance for the new regulation, but it is expected in the future.

A quick catch-up

You did not miss the memo if you’re hearing this news for the first time. While many in the EU participated in the early studies and the subsequent deliberations as the text of the Regulation was developed, outside of these circles, there was little in the way of news published on the topic.

For many years, the EU Commission and the Parliament have recognized that developing and maintaining sectoral directives, like the Machinery, Low-Voltage, and EMC Directive, significantly burden EU lawmakers. Because Directives are laws in the same way that an Act of Parliament here in Canada is a law, the text of the proposed law must be developed by Parliamentary committees and then debated in the House before it can be passed. This can take years to accomplish. The solution is to move away from sectoral directives to sectoral regulations. How does this help?

Because regulations are used to apply laws, they do not need debate. As long as the Regulation stays within the boundaries set by the law, no problem exists. If the Regulation goes too far, the courts can force changes to the Regulation as needed. Additionally, and this is really important from the perspective of the EU Commission, the Commission itself can quickly modify regulations as necessary to address changes in the marketplace, for example, the introduction of AI technology into consumer products.

Consider this: Since the Machinery Directive was first passed in 1989, there have only been three major revisions: 1989, 1998, and 2006. There were many amendments and corrections made in addition to those significant changes. Yet it’s fair to say that the technologies used in machines have changed tremendously over that same period.

Proportional drawing showing design of EU CE Mark graphic
CE Mark

Since you care about the Machinery Directive, it’s fair to assume you are building CE Marked machinery for the EU or UK market. The new Regulation applies to the CE Marking of machinery products, but the UK market has a mandatory transition date of 2024-12-31. After that date, the UK regulations on machinery safety may diverge from those in the EU.

Where to find a copy

The full title of the new regulation is:


of 14 June 2023

on machinery and repealing Directive 2006/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Directive 73/361/EEC

(Text with EEA relevance)


You can get a copy of the Regulation here.

When does it come into force?

While the document has been passed and published in the Official Journal of the European Union [1], it does not come into force until 2023-07-14. The transition between the 2006 Machinery Directive and the 2023 Machinery Regulation starts on the day the Regulation comes into force.

Transition time

While the regulation comes into force on July 14th, there’s no need to panic. Between now and January 14th, 2027, both 2006/42/EC and Regulation (EU) 2023/1230 are in force. Designers can work with either set of requirements during this transition period. However, come January 2027, machines built for the EU market must fully comply with Regulation 2023/1230.

The countdown clock at the top of this article tells you exactly how much time you have left to get things in order.

Some intermediate mandatory dates exist, but unless you run or own a Notified Body, these dates do not affect you [2, Art. 54].


The EU Commission is good at providing guides to applying EU legislation—for example, the EU Blue Guide [3] on CE Marking or the Official Guide to the Machinery Directive [4]. However, no new official guidance has been published yet. As soon as I know about its publication, I’ll write about it here.

UPDATE: EUROGIP and ETUI have published a guide in English on the differences between the Machinery Directive and the new Regulation [5]. Download a copy here. Thanks to author Stefano Boy who brought this to my attention on LinkedIn.


[1] Official Journal of the European Union, [2023] L165/1. [Online]. Available: [accessed: 2023-07-01.]

[2] Regulation (EU) 2023/1230 of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 14th, 2023, on machinery and repealing Directive 2006/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Directive 73/361/EEC (Text with EEA relevance). Brussels: European Commission. 2023. [Online]. Available: [accessed: 2023-07-01.]

[3] Guide to application of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC – Edition 2.2, Brussels: EUROPEAN COMMISSION, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. 2019.

[4] “The blue guide on the implementation of the product rules 2022 is published,” Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, [accessed Jul. 11, 2023.]

[5] P. Belingard and S. Boy, “Machinery: From the directive to the new regulation, what changes?,” Eurogip – understanding occupational risks in Europe, [accessed Jul. 4, 2023.]

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