Applicability: Manufacturers of marine equipment to be fitted to ships flying an EU flag, and owners or operators of ships flying an EU flag

The EU Marine Equipment Directive (MED) applies to all ships whose safety certification is issued by or on behalf of EU member states. The current Directive (96/98/EC) is being repealed and replaced by a new Directive (2014/90/EU) from 18 September 2016. The main changes associated with the new Directive are as follows:

1. Scope of the Directive – Applicable to the equipment placed on board. 

2. Standards for marine equipment – In addition to the list of existing organisations that set 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. 

3. Wheelmark – By affixing the wheelmark, the manufacturer indicates that it takes responsibility for the conformity of the product with all applicable requirements. The wheelmark is to include the identification number of the notified body involved in the production control phase, and the year in which it is affixed. 

4. Electronic tag – This option will become available in the future after a list of equipment that may benefit from the use of electronic tags and appropriate technical criteria for the design, performance, affixing and use of electronic tags have been established. 

5. Obligation of economic operators – The Directive defines economic operators (manufacturer, authorised representative, importer and distributor) and sets their responsibilities. Manufacturers not located in the EU are required to appoint, by written mandate, an authorised representative within the EU. 

6. Conformity assessment – For the changes to the conformity assessment, please refer to the relevant comparison tables here.

7. The Declaration of Conformity should: 

  • state fulfilment with the requirements provided in Directive 2014/90/EU, 
  • follow the model provided in Annex III of Decision 768/2008/EC, 
  • contain the elements specified in the relevant modules, as provided in Directive 2014/90/EU,
  • be kept up to date, 
  • be provided to the ship and kept on board until the equipment is removed, and 
  • be translated by the manufacturer into the language or languages required by the flag state and include language commonly used in the maritime transport sector. 

8. Annex A is to be replaced by a separate legislative act. For each item of marine equipment for which MED certification is required, this new arrangement provides the respective design, construction and performance requirements, and the testing standards provided for in the international instruments. The replacement system will also explicitly indicate the dates from which those requirements and testing standards are to apply, including the dates for placing on the market and placing on board, in accordance with the international instruments and taking into consideration timeframes for shipbuilding. 

However, there is no set date for the replacement system to come into force. Until such a time as it does, the existing Annex A to the MED (Directive 96/98/EC) will remain in place in its latest form. 

It is understood that the new system will be amended at least annually to ensure that applicable marine equipment and relevant standards are kept up to date. 

9. Notified Bodies – Current Notified Bodies, including Lloyd’s Register, must fulfil new designation criteria and apply for the new notification. 

Validity of current certificates
Existing certificates issued under the current MED (96/98/EC) will remain valid until either: 

  1. they reach their expiry date, 
  2. the conditions of the certificate’s validity are breached, or 
  3. marine equipment meeting the specified standards within the existing certification is no longer accepted for being placed on board an EU ship in accordance with the  Annex A replacement system (please refer to point 8 above).

For further information

Speak to one of our experts at your local Lloyd’s Register Group office