Guide to application of machinery directive - 4 : The History of the Machinery Directive

§ 4      The History of the Machinery Directive

The first recital recalls that Directive 2006/42/EC is not an entirely new Directive but is based on Directive 98/37/EC[1] which codified the Machinery Directive 89/392/EEC[2] as amended. Codification means bringing into one legal text the original Directive and its successive amendments:

  • Directive 91/368/EEC[3] extended the scope of the Machinery Directive to interchangeable equipment, mobile machinery and machinery for lifting goods. Parts 3, 4 and 5 were added to Annex I.
  • Directive 93/44/EEC[4] extended the scope of the Machinery Directive to safety components and machinery for lifting and moving persons. Part 6 was added to Annex I.
  • Directive 93/68/EEC[5] introduced harmonised provisions relating to the CE-marking.

Directive 98/37/EC was subject to a minor amendment by Directive 98/79/EC relating to the exclusion of medical devices.

Directive 98/37/EC remains in force until 29 December 2009.

Directive 2006/42/EC is termed a recast of the Machinery Directive since the modifications are presented in the form of a new Directive.


(2)        The machinery sector is an important part of the engineering industry and is one of the industrial mainstays of the Community economy. The social cost of the large number of accidents caused directly by the use of machinery can be reduced by inherently safe design and construction of machinery and by proper installation and maintenance.


[1] OJ No L 183, 29.6.1989, p. 9.

[2] Directive 98/37/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to machinery (OJ L 207, 27.7.98 p.1).

[3] OJ No L 198, 22.7.1991, p. 16.

[4] OJ No L 175, 19.7.1993, p. 12.

[5] OJ No L 220, 31.8.1993, p. 1.


Note from Industry-finder :

Directive 2009/127/EC added to the scope of Directive 2006/42/EC by adding environmental protection risks for “machinery for pesticide application” and introduced a new section in Annex I part 2