Harmonisation of gas standardisation against the background of the GAR changeover
With the publication of the EU Gas Appliance Regulation (2016/426) (GAR), a new regulatory framework for key gas use products was announced on 31 March 2016. The new ordinance came into force on 21 April 2018 and replaced the previous EU Gas Appliance Directive (GAD).
Testing principles for EU type examinations
The transition from directive (GAD) to regulation (GAR) is characterised by 3 essential elements:
- Declaration of conformity of the manufacturer
- Risk analysis and evaluation
- EU-type examination certificate
Test specifications for the application of the necessary EU type examinations are determined by the manufacturer. This was reaffirmed in the Commission's Guidance document „Questions & Answers on the transition from the Gas Appliances Directive to the Gas Appliances Regulation and on the GAR implementation”.
The basis for the EU type examination is the fulfilment of the Essential Requirements (ER), according to Annex 1 of the GAR. The proof of fulfilment of the ER is therefore not necessarily linked to the existence and application of a harmonised standard (hEN).
This is necessary, as very few currently harmonised standards are available and can therefore not be fully applied.
Harmonised standards as a basis
However, the application of a harmonised standard (hEN) is clearly highlighted in the directives and regulations based on the principles of the “New legislative framework".
In CHAPTER III of the GAR, Article 13 establishes the presumption of conformity of equipment and appliances:
„Appliances and fittings which are in conformity with harmonised standards or parts thereof the references of which have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union shall be presumed to be in conformity with the essential requirements set out in Annex I covered by those standards or parts thereof.“
The hEN, as legally compliant documents, are used throughout the GAR. With the transition from GAD to GAR, the few hEN lost their basis, i.e. all standards published in the scope of the GAR since about 2010 have to be revised having regard to the GAR Essential Requirements (ER).
Restructuring the standards
The clear separation of the basic requirements of technically relevant test features that are important for the functional safety of equipment and equipment must be consistently implemented within the structure of the new hEN. This has not been done completely in the past. So now there is the necessity of restructuring the standards.
It is necessary to consolidate standardisation, as has already been successfully carried out under the ErP Directive.
The Commission has recognised the accumulation of work for harmonisation of standards. About 1,100 standards from various areas are reported, of which approximately 100 are in the GAR.
Further information from the European Commission on gas appliances is available at https://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/european-standards/harmonised-standards/appliances-burning-gaseous-fuels_en.
Active figawa committee
- SG Gas utilisation
- Technical Committee VHB
- Working Group "Warm air heaters"
- Working Group "Radiant gas heaters"