Marine Equipment Directive (MED)

What is the Marine Equipment Directive (MED)?

The MED sets out performance and testing standards to be met by marine equipment placed on board an EU ship.

As of 18 September 2016 the only applicable MED is Directive 2014/90/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on marine equipment and repealing Council Directive 96/98/EC.

The main changes introduced by the Directive 2014/90/EU are outlined in the further part of this information. Please refer to the "Summary of the key changes introduced by the Directive 2014/90/EU" below.

What does the directive cover?

The directive covers types of marine equipment that fall under following International Conventions developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO):

  • SOLAS 1974: Life-saving appliances/navigation equipment/radio equipment
  • MARPOL 1973: Marine pollution
  • COLREGS 1972: Prevention of collisions

Design, construction and performance requirements and testing standards for marine equipment is provided in the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/306, which was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on the 24 February 2017.

This Regulation entered into force on the 16 March 2017 and became directly applicable.

While most EC directives require products to carrying the "CE" mark, products certified under the Marine Equipment Directive carry the "wheel mark".

Conformity Assessment Modules

All manufacturers producing equipment to comply with the MED require the involvement of a Notified Body approved to assess products to the MED.

In the majority of cases, a Module B (EC type examination) certificate is necessary, and must be used in combination with one of the other Production Modules – D, E or F.

Lloyd's Register* is a Notified Body for the Marine Equipment Directive and can help you through each stage of the certification process. This includes:

  • reviewing a technical construction file
  • assessing a quality control system
  • product sample inspection and testing

*All Notified Body activities are performed under the accreditation held by Lloyd's Register Verification Limited.

EC-US Mutual Recognition Agreement on marine equipment

A mutual recognition agreement between the United States and the European Community means that equipment with the wheel mark will be accepted for sale in the U.S. without additional testing or certification.

The agreement, in force since July 1, 2004, also means that companies with U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) type approval will be accepted for sale in the European Community without additional testing or certification.

Forty-three product types are covered by the agreement at present.

Summary of the key changes introduced by the Directive 2014/90/EU

Scope of the Directive: Applicable also to the equipment placed on board.

Standards for marine equipment: In addition to the list of existing organizations which sets testing standards, the following have been added:

  • the International Telecommunication Union (ITU),
  • the regulatory authorities recognised in the mutual recognition agreements to which the Union is a party, and
  • the European Commission.

Wheelmark: Wheelmark to be followed by the identification number of the notified body involved in the production control phase, and the year in which the mark is affixed.

Electronic Tag: Introduction of the possibility of marking equipment with an electronic tagging in addition to or instead of the Wheelmark. However, the EC must still issue a list of equipment which may benefit from using electronic tags and establish appropriate technical criteria for the design, performance, affixing and use of electronic tags.

Obligation of economic operators: Introduction of definitions and responsibilities of economic operators (manufacturer, authorised representative, importer and distributor). Manufacturers not located in the EU are required to appoint, by written mandate, an authorised representative within the EU.

Authorised representative: Must be appointed by a manufacturer who is not located in the territory of at least one Member State.

The Declaration of Conformity should:

  • state fulfilment with the requirements provided in the Directive 2014/90/EU;
  • follow the model provided in Annex III of the Decision 768/2008/EC;
  • contain the elements specified in the relevant Modules as provided in the Directive 2014/90/EU;
  • be kept up to date;
  • provided to the ship and kept on board until the equipment is removed
  • shall be provided to the notified body or to the bodies which carried out the relevant conformity assessment procedures.
  • translated by the manufacturer into language(s) required by the flag Member State, include language commonly used in the maritime transport sector.

Annex A: Replaced by Annex to Regulation (EU) 2017/306.

Conformity Assessment Modules: Summaries of the changes to the conformity assessment modules: