Technical harmonisation within the European Union (EU) aims at harmonising the essential requirements that products must meet when they are put on the market, by applying the "general reference to standards" formula and the principle of mutual recognition in order to eliminate technical obstacles to the free movement of goods. Such technical specifications shall vary depending on the category of products considered.
Any product or kit which is produced and placed on the market for incorporation in construction works must meet standardisation mandates and harmonised technical specifications before being put on the EU market.
Toys imported into the EU must adhere to special safety requirements that are specific to the intended age group, as well as traceability requirements.
Explosives imported into the EU that are intended for civil use are subject to an EU Directive based on the UN's recommendation on the transport of dangerous goods.
These technical standards are only required for theatrical pyrotechnic articles (designed for indoor or outdoor stage use, including film and television productions or similar use), fireworks and other pyrotechnic articles for technical purposes.
Lifts, intended to be permanently installed in buildings, must satisfy health and safety requirements related to capacity limits, fire safety and maintenance before being put on the EU market.
The design and construction of machinery must meet mandatory essential health and safety requirements in order to be put in the EU market.
Personal protective equipment placed on the EU market must comply with requirements related to design, manufacture, materials, testing, instructions, information to be supplied by the manufacturer, and other aspects.
Pressure vessels, piping, safety accessories and pressure accessories placed on the EU market must meet certain requirements for design, manufacture and conformity assessment. This only applies to equipment with a maximum allowable pressure greater than 0.5 bar.
Simple welded pressure vessels placed in the EU market are subject to the compliance with mandatory essential safety requirements. This only applies to welded vessels subjected to a pressure greater than 0.5 bar intended to contain air or nitrogen, and not intended to be fired.
The placing of medical devices on the EU market is subject to the compliance with the essential requirements in order to ensure a high level of protection of the health and safety of patients, users and third parties and achieve the intended level of performance.
Electrical and electronic equipment and gas appliances
Any electrical and electronic apparatus is subject to the compliance with mandatory essential requirements established by the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive to ensure that their performance is protected against electromagnetic disturbances.
Fluorescent lamps without integrated ballast, high intensity discharge lamps, ballasts and luminaires able to operate such lamps can only be placed on the EU market if they meet certain ecodesign requirements.
Gas appliances for non-industrial use (including forced drought burners) marketed in the EU need to meet mandatory health and safety requirements concerning ignition, durability, and energy consumption, among others.
Technical standards for low voltage electrical equipment
Low-voltage electrical equipment is subject to the compliance with mandatory essential requirements in order to ensure the health and safety of persons, domestic animals and property.
Radio equipment is subject to the compliance with mandatory essential requirements. Examples of affected products are: web enabled appliances, home monitoring medical devices, navigation or tracking systems, mobile phones.
Certain categories of motor vehicles must comply with the harmonised technical requirements established by EU legislation for passenger cars, motorcycles and tractors as well as their trailers, systems, components and separate technical units.
Technical standards for cableways for the carriage of passengers
Cableways installations intended to carry persons must meet certain essential health and safety requirements. In particular, these apply to funicular railways or other vehicles where traction is provided by one or more cables, cable cars lifted and/or displaced by carrier cables, including gondolas and chair lifts, and drag lifts.
Recreational crafts (including personal water crafts) must adhere to harmonised standards and conformity assessments.
Fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and above must comply with safety requirements and compliance certificates as stated by EU rules.
Marine equipment must comply with certain requirements and provisions. These apply to the following equipment: life-saving appliances, marine pollution prevention, fire protection equipment, navigation equipment, and radio-communication equipment.
Safety requirements and the appropriate certificates are required for new and existing passenger ships of 24 meters in length and above and high speed passenger craft engaged in domestic voyages within an EU Member State.
Imports of civil aircrafts (including its parts) must meet EU requirements for the product's airworthiness, integrity, operation and organisational structure.
Structural and operational aspects of rail transport are subject to an EU Directive.
Automatic weighing instruments must comply with essential requirements laid out in a specific Directive. Automatic weighing instruments are defined as those intended to determine the mass of a body by using the action of gravity on that body, without the intervention of an operator.
Material measures of length must meet requirements in regards to their materials, markings, reference conditions, and maximum possible errors.
Technical standards for meters
Meters are subject to the compliance with essential requirements established by a specific Directive. This applies to: water meters, gas meters and volume conversion devices, active electrical energy meters, thermal energy meters, measuring systems for continuous and dynamic measurement of quantities of liquids other than water, and taximeters.
Technical standards for non automatic weighing instruments
Non-automatic weighing instruments must comply with essential requirements laid out in a specific Directive. Non-automatic weighing instruments are defined as weighing instruments requiring the intervention of an operator during weighing.
Ecodesign of energy-using products
The EU has established a framework under which manufacturers of energy-using products (EuP) must, at the design stage, reduce the energy consumption and other negative environmental impacts that occur during the product's life cycle. Information concerning the product's environmental performance and energy efficiency must also be visible if possible on the product itself, thus allowing consumers to compare before purchasing.
Energy efficient products
Besides the obligations imposed by the EU's Ecodesign Directive on the reduction of energy consumption and other negative environmental impacts when manufacturing energy-using products (EuP), the EU's Energy Labelling Directive establishes a framework for labelling and consumer information regarding energy consumption of energy-related products. The objective is to allow consumers to make informed purchasing decisions based on energy consumption and to encourage manufacturers to design more efficient products to meet consumer demand. The following list of requirements cover the provisions laid down by both Directives for certain energy-using products.