EU changes direction on EN ISO 13849–1

Update on EN ISO 13849–1 manda­to­ry imple­men­ta­tion date.

In a post on 15-Sep I report­ed that the Euro­pean Union had decid­ed to delay the manda­to­ry imple­men­ta­tion date of  EN ISO 13849–1 for an addi­tion­al three years. This report was based on infor­ma­tion obtained from an inter­nal source at the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and has since been reversed by that same source.

Mr. Glyn Gar­side pro­vid­ed the fol­low­ing update to this impor­tant sto­ry:

It has been wide­ly report­ed, but nev­er con­firmed, that the EU com­mis­sion had accept­ed the CEN pro­pos­al to extend the date of ces­sa­tion of pre­sump­tion of con­for­mi­ty of EN 954–1:1996 until the end of 2012. THESE REPORTS HAVE NOW BEEN AUTHORITATIVELY DENIED.

(By the way, this dis­cus­sion of dates of ces­sa­tion of pre­sump­tion of con­for­mi­ty only affects the Euro­pean stan­dards, EN 954–1 and EN ISO 13849–1. Inter­na­tion­al stan­dard ISO 13849–1 is obvi­ous­ly con­trolled by ISO and not by CEN or the EU. The cur­rent edi­tion of ISO 13849–1 is 2006, essen­tial­ly iden­ti­cal to EN ISO 13849–1 : 2008.)

At this point the pos­si­bil­i­ty of an exten­sion of the tran­si­tion from EN 954–1 to EN ISO 13849–1 remains con­tro­ver­sial, con­fused and IMHO uncer­tain. (There’s been approx 3 years tran­si­tion peri­od already.) If I were still a man­u­fac­tur­er, I would not want to wait until Dec 29th to find out if I could still ship my prod­uct using EN 954–1!

The reports of an exten­sion were based on an email sent ear­li­er this month (3rd Sept) by a CEN employ­ee. How­ev­er, the EU Com­mis­sion nev­er con­firmed the report, and on Sep­tem­ber 24th the same CEN employ­ee, Marie Poidevin, has writ­ten,
> “We have been informed today by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion […] that con­trary to what was expressed in
> my pre­vi­ous mes­sage sent on the 3rd of Sep­tem­ber, EN 954–1 will not give pre­sump­tion of con­for­mi­ty
>  to the new MD 2006/42/EC until fur­ther notice.
> “Indeed, due to dis­cus­sions fol­low­ing the announce­ment made below, the EC wish­es to gath­er experts’
> views and, there­fore, this issue will be dis­cussed at the next Machin­ery Work­ing group to be held on
> the 7–8th Decem­ber.”

A relat­ed email from Ian Fras­er (“EC Pol­i­cy Direc­tor for the Machin­ery Direc­tive”), dat­ed 2009-09-18 states,
“Fol­low­ing the dis­cus­sion at the meet­ing of the Machin­ery Work­ing Group held on 7 and 8
July 2009, we have received a num­ber of ques­tions con­cern­ing the tran­si­tion from stan­dard
EN 954–1 to stan­dard EN ISO 13849–1 on safe­ty-relat­ed parts of con­trol sys­tems.
At the meet­ing of the Machin­ery Work­ing Group, there was gen­er­al agree­ment on two
1. Man­u­fac­tur­ers who apply stan­dard EN ISO 13849–1 ben­e­fit from a pre­sump­tion of
con­for­mi­ty, even if the har­monised C-type stan­dard relat­ing to the machin­ery con­cerned still
refers to the cat­e­gories of EN 954–1;
2. Har­monised C-type stan­dards that refer to the cat­e­gories of EN 954–1 con­tin­ue to con­fer a
pre­sump­tion of con­for­mi­ty until they are amend­ed to refer to stan­dard EN ISO 13849–1.
These con­clu­sions will be record­ed in the min­utes of the meet­ing.

Dur­ing the dis­cus­sion, sev­er­al par­tic­i­pants indi­cat­ed that more time was need­ed for the
indus­try, and in par­tic­u­lar for SMEs, to adapt to the new stan­dard. As Chair­man of the
meet­ing, I asked whether it might not be prefer­able to post­pone the date of ces­sa­tion of
pre­sump­tion of con­for­mi­ty for EN 954–1.
In response to this sug­ges­tion, on 30 July 2009, Mr. Steiger wrote to the Com­mis­sion, on
behalf of the CEN Machin­ery Sec­tor, to request that the date of ces­sa­tion of pre­sump­tion of
con­for­mi­ty for EN 954–1 be excep­tion­al­ly post­poned until 31 Decem­ber 2012 […].
The Com­mis­sion will reply to this request from CEN. How­ev­er, giv­en the com­plex­i­ty of the
issues involved, the Com­mis­sion intends to con­sult experts and to seek the opin­ion of the
Machin­ery Work­ing Group to be held on 7 and 8 Decem­ber 2009, before reach­ing a final
Kind regards,

Thanks again to Glyn Gar­side and the EMC-PSTC List Serv­er!