Technical tasks

24 April 2008

The Main Aim of the Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE) is to represent and promote the interests of the construction equipment industry in Europe.

This includes lobbying for harmonisation of national regulations to remove technical barriers to trade, improvement of safety standards and the environmental aspects of construction machinery.

The technical aspects of CECE’s role are managed by its Technical Commission (TC). The TC also helps the organisation to monitor upcoming European legislation on relevant subjects and communicates the view of the industry to Europe’s legislators.

The range of subjects tackled by the TC are diverse, varying from noise and engine emission regulations through to on-road use of equipment and implications of future standards in neighbouring countries. The TC has a number of Project Teams (PTs)

Noise Directive

One of the biggest challenges for the TC over the last few years has been its campaign for modification of directive 2000/14/EC, which relates to noise emissions from outdoor equipment. Through extensive campaigning CECE managed to get amendments made to the directive for certain types of construction equipment before it came into force on 3 January this year.

A study of the EC Declarations of Conformity for Construction Equipment, carried out by the TC in 2002, revealed that certain types of equipment were likely to have major difficulties meeting Stage II of the directive. As a result CECE asked for a temporary modification of the directive for some types of equipment on technical grounds.

CECE also requested a one-year transitional period for machines powered by engines in the 75 to 130 kW powerband. This was to allow manufacturers to combine modification for the noise directive with introduction of the Stage IIIA exhaust emissions regulations.

After intensive lobbying from CECE, the Commission launched proposal COM(2005)370 in August 2005, which included all of CECE's requests based on technical reasons. CECE pressured the Commission, European Parliament and Council to publish the amendment before the end of 2005 in order to get the changes made before the directive came into force.

The council adopted the amending directive on 8 December and Directive 2005/88/EC modifying the Outdoor Noise Directive was published on 27 December, just a week before the original Outdoor Noise Directive became law.

The FuturE

But the successful amendment to the directive is not the end of the TC’s involvement with noise legislation, and another PT is looking at the future of the Outdoor Noise Directive.

The current modified directive will remain in force until the original directive can be amended and it is likely that further changes will be made before the final amendment. Any amendment of the directive has a significant impact on the way construction equipment is built, so the PT’s task is to closely monitor any modification activities and extension of the directive to other equipment.

CECE’s noise directive PT is also helping to ensure that the Commission is working from accurate data. Manufacturers of equipment used outdoors have an obligation to send data to the Commission and this information is used to decide whether further amendments are needed, but the existing database contains errors. The PT is currently working with the Commission to find a way to correct the data.

Another PT is focusing on the issue of noise uncertainties, which include variations in production and measurement of noise. According to CECE, there are no harmonised rules on how to deal with noise uncertainties and the PT has started a debate between the Commission, the Notified Bodies Group and market surveillance authorities on the subject. CECE currently favours a pragmatic approach rather than a purely statistical system, which was proposed by a member states.

Exhaust Emissions

Today Stage II of Directive 97/68/EC relating to engine emissions from on-road vehicles is applied to all non- road equipment sold in the EU and the first phase of Stage IIIA began at the start of this year. The legislation limits gaseous and particulate emissions and CECE has been closely involved with the phased introduction of the legislation.

CECE’s TC formed part of a Joint Industrial Task Force, which is charged with managing a technical review of the directive that will be completed by the end of 2007. This will be used to finalise limit values and application dates for Stages IIIB and IV.

Another PT is currently working on harmonising the rules which govern the use of non-road mobile machinery on public roads, which vary greatly between member states. According to CECE, the different safety requirement and legislation is a barrier to free trade across Europe and is working towards a new EN standard, which is expected to be published in 2008.

Other topics being tackled by CECE at the moment include revision of the Machinery Directive 89/392/EEC, help for manufacturers on applying the Vibration Directive 2002/44/EC and monitoring of changes to environmental legislation.

Outside Europe

EC directive and harmonised European Standards are helping to remove trade barriers in Europe but one of the PTs is already looking at future legislation and simplifying the application of any new regulations. CECE is also working to improve worldwide trade of construction equipment through involvement in developing global ISO standards.

CECE’s PTs also get involved in discussions with other construction equipment associations, including the US-based Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and Japan’s Construction Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (CEMA), through Joint Technical Liaison Meetings (JTLM). The next JTLM will take place in 2007 and will be hosted by CECE.

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