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Safety of pressure vessel equipment and material

Safety of pressure vessel equipment and material


Directive 2014/68/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of pressure equipment



This European Union law lays down essential safety requirements for pressure equipment and assemblies (such as boilers, pressure cookers, fire extinguishers, heat exchangers and steam generators). All stationary pressure equipment must conform to strict specifications if it is to be sold in the EU.



The directive applies to the design, manufacture and conformity of pressure equipment with a maximum allowable pressure greater than 0.5 bar. It covers all pressure equipment and assemblies that are new to the EU market, whether manufactured in the EU or elsewhere. This also includes imported used items.

Wide range of applications

Pressure equipment is used widely in industries such as:

  • oil,
  • chemicals,
  • plastics,
  • food,
  • glass,
  • paper,
  • energy production, storage and distribution.

Without stringent and effectively enforced standards, stationary pressure equipment can be inherently dangerous.

Responsibility for compliance

Manufacturers and their representatives, importers and distributors are responsible for the compliance of their products with this law. This is to ensure the health and safety of users and the safety of domestic animals and property, as well as to guarantee fair competition in the EU.

Manufacturer/importer details

Manufacturer details (name, registered trade name/trademark and their postal address) must be indicated on the equipment or, where this is not possible, on the packaging or in the accompanying documentation. These must be provided in a language easily understood by consumers and market surveillance authorities (public authorities that ensure products comply with legislation and are safe). Importers must provide their contact details.


EU countries must ensure that manufacturers, importers and distributors comply with the law. If there is evidence of non-compliance, they must restrict or prohibit the equipment from being sold.


These contain detailed information on aspects such as:

  • essential safety requirements to be met;
  • conformity assessment procedures (to test a product meets the required standards);
  • the EU declaration of conformity.


Rules in this field are currently governed by Directive 97/23/EC. Directive 2014/68/EU replaces Directive 97/23/EC with effect from 1 June 2015 (and 19 July 2016 for some aspects).


Pressure equipment: vessels, piping, safety accessories and pressure accessories, including, where applicable, elements attached to pressurised parts, such as flanges, nozzles, couplings, supports and lifting lugs.

Assemblies: several pieces of pressure equipment assembled by a manufacturer to constitute an integrated and functional whole.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2014/68/EU


28.2.2015 and for some articles: 18.7.2016

OJ L 189, 27.6.2014, pp. 164-259


Directive 97/23/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 May 1997 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States concerning pressure equipment (Official Journal OJ L 181, 9 July 1997, pp. 1-55)

last update 23.09.2014