The European Commission has identified noise as one of the most pressing problems in urban areas across Europe and stressed the need to take action on various sources of noise, as part of its Environmental Action Plan in 1993.

The subsequent ‘Future Noise Policy’ sets out steps for the development of a Directive to specifically regulate noise created by outdoor equipment.

EU Legislation on Noise Emission by Outdoor Equipment

The Outdoor Noise Directive 2000/14/EC (OND) regulates the noise emissions into the environment by outdoor equipment.

Some 57 types of equipment are named in the Directive. It refers mainly to outdoor machinery, such as those used on construction sites or in parks and gardens.

The Directive 2000/14/EC has been amended by Directive 2005/88/EC and by Regulation (EC) No 219/2009, and corrected by Corrigendum:

Latest developments and studies

Almost all of the 57 types of equipment are also within the scope of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and both directives address issues arising from noise emissions. However, the Machinery Directive focuses on the occupational safety of the operator (amongst other things) and the OND on the overall environmental effects.

In 2013-2014 the Commission explored the case for a merger between the two directives but concluded that they should remain separate. This conclusion was accepted by stakeholders and so a complete revision of the OND will now be undertaken:

A study was carried out on how the existing limit values for noise might be updated, and also how they might in future be applied to equipment currently not subjected to limits but only to marking. The study began in April 2015 and was completed in February 2016:

A supporting study for an evaluation and impact assessment of Directive 2000/14/EC on noise emission by outdoor equipment has been ongoing since May 2017. The results from this study (to be delivered by the first semester of 2018), as well as previously completed studies, will be used as the basis for the upcoming revision process of EU legislation. An online public consultation was launched and ran between 23 January 2018 and 18 April 2018.

Noise Directive

Requirements of the Directive:

The Directive applies only to the specified list of machines in Articles 12 and 13, not to all machines used outdoors. Before placing on the market or putting into service any equipment referred to in Article 12, the manufacturer or his authorised representative established in the Community, shall subject each type of equipment to one of the following conformity assessment procedures:

– The internal control of production with assessment of technical documentation and periodical checking procedure referred to in Annex VI, or
– The unit verification procedure referred to in Annex VII, or
– The full quality assurance procedure referred to in Annex VIII.

Before placing on the market or putting into service any equipment referred to in Article 13 the manufacturer, or his authorised representative established in the Community, shall subject each type of equipment to the internal control of production procedure referred to in Annex V. Please refer to the noise directives for detailed requirements.

Services that we offer as a notified body

Technical File Review: 
A Technical File is required in order to comply with the Noise Directive. We will review your Technical File for conformity to the requirements of the directive and provide recommendations on any areas requiring further action or improvement.Surveillance Assessment:If required, we will carry out a site assessment to ensure that manufactured equipment continues to comply with the technical documentation and with the requirements of the Noise Directive.

Noise Testing Service:
If required, we can test equipment to ensure that it conforms to the requirements of the Noise Directive.

Technical documentation

Upon successful assessment, Directive 2000/14/EC on Noise emission in the environment requires a technical documentation as laid out in Annexes V – VIII (see art 14.3). The technical documents must enable the assessment of the conformity of the appliance with the requirements of the Directive. The technical file should comprise:

• The name and address of the manufacturer or his authorised representative established in the Community
• A description of the equipment
• The trade name
• The type, series and numbers
• The technical data relevant for the identification of the equipment and the assessment of its noise emission, including, if appropriate, schematic drawings and any description and explanation necessary for their understanding
• The reference to the Directive
• The technical report of noise measurements carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Directive
• The technical instruments applied and the results of the evaluation of the uncertainties due to production variation and their relation to the guaranteed sound power level.

The file must also contain a copy of the EC declaration of conformity.

The manufacturer or their authorised representative is requested to keep copies of the technical documentation for a period of 10 years after the last product has been placed on the market.

CEM are a notified body for the noise directive and can help to certify products covered by the noise directive.

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