Ensuring the safety and performance of medical devices



Regulation (EU) 2017/745 on medical devices




Besides the variety of medical devices, the regulation also covers certain groups of products which do not have an intended medical purpose. These include coloured contact lenses (i.e. lenses that do not correct vision) and equipment for liposuction. For more details about the list of those groups of products, see the regulation’s Annex XVI.


Medical devices are classified according to their intended purpose and their inherent risks (classes I, IIa, IIb and III — for more details, see the regulation’s Annex VIII).

Notified bodies

Clinical data

Manufacturers’ obligations


The regulation introduces a system for registering devices and manufacturers, importers and authorised representatives to ensure the traceability of devices throughout the supply chain by means of a unique device identification (UDI) system. This will ensure that, should problems arise, measures can be taken more rapidly.

Single-use devices

These devices may only be reprocessed (disinfected, cleaned, remanufactured, tested, packaged, labelled and sterilised) if permitted under national law and meet certain conditions laid down in this regulation. The manufacturer is responsible for the reprocessing of the device and assumes the obligations of a manufacturer. In certain cases, EU countries may allow for exceptions to the general rules where the reprocessing is undertaken by healthcare centres, provided that certain specific requirements laid down in the regulations are fulfilled.

Incident reporting

In addition to the obligation for manufacturers to report serious incidents and trends in non-serious incidents, the regulation introduces obligations for EU countries to encourage and enable healthcare professionals, users and patients to report suspected incidents at national level using harmonised formats.

Market surveillance

Competent EU authorities are responsible for ensuring that any unsafe device is withdrawn from the market.


A centralised database, called the European Databank on Medical Devices (Eudamed) will be developed to provide EU countries, businesses, patients, healthcare professionals and the public with information on medical devices available in the EU.

Implant card

In the case of implantable devices, manufacturers must provide patients with key information on an implant card delivered with the device. This includes:

Repeal of existing legislation — Directives 90/385/EEC and 93/42/EEC

The regulation repeals Directives 90/385/EEC and 93/42/EEC from 25 May 2020 with some exceptions laid down in Article 122.


It entered into force on 25 May 2017 and applies from 26 May 2020. However, dates of application for some of the regulation’s articles vary and are detailed in Articles 120 and 123.


This regulation is one of two adopted by the EU to overhaul its laws on medical devices. The second regulation (Regulation (EU) 2017/746) concerns in vitro diagnostic medical devices.

For more information, see:


Medical device: term covering a wide variety of equipment used for:

It does not achieve its primary intended action by pharmacological, immunological or metabolic means, but the latter may assist in its function.

Examples range from bandages through hip replacements to pacemakers.


Regulation (EU) 2017/745 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2017 on medical devices, amending Directive 2001/83/EC, Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 and Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 and repealing Council Directives 90/385/EEC and 93/42/EEC (OJ L 117, 5.5.2017, pp. 1-175)


Regulation (EU) 2017/746 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2017 on in vitro diagnostic medical devices and repealing Directive 98/79/EC and Commission Decision 2010/227/EU (OJ L 117, 5.5.2017, pp. 176-332)

Council Directive 93/42/EEC of 14 June 1993 concerning medical devices (OJ L 169, 12.7.1993, pp. 1-43)

Successive amendments to Directive 93/42/EEC have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Council Directive 90/385/EEC of 20 June 1990 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to active implantable medical devices (OJ L 189, 20.6.1990, pp. 17-36)

See consolidated version.

last update 26.10.2017