Machinery Proposal: Mandatory third party certification is a step backwards – Facts 4 & 5

26 October 2021

The mandatory third-party certificati...

The mandatory third-party certification on so-called "high-risk" machines is unjustified and disproportionate

In this series of four articles, we will provide 7 facts that demonstrate why some of the supporting arguments mentioned in the European Commission Impact Assessment are unjustified and disproportionate.

Today, when harmonised standards cover all relevant essential health and safety requirements, manufacturers of so-called 'high-risk' machinery can either self-assess conformity or use a third party (known as a 'Notified Body') to do so.

The proposed new Machinery Regulation removes the self-certification possibility, making third party certification mandatory for all machinery products listed in Annex I.

However, the supporting arguments in the European Commission Impact Assessment mainly rely on subjective assumptions not confirmed by any data, and an incomplete measurement of the effects. The proposal is therefore unjustified and disproportionate, as demonstrated below.


Facts 4 & 5


Does third party certification reduce the need for market surveillance? – NO

  • Third party certification is about assessing conformity and is not a substitute for enforcement and control by market surveillance authorities

  • Third party certification does not guarantee conformity: some machines certified by Notified Bodies are also found to be non-compliant by other authorities

  • Notified Bodies’ levels of competence and knowledge vary considerably.


Would mandatory third party certification support innovation? – NO

  • Third party certification increases time-to-market, which is incompatible with faster innovation cycles and the seasonal character of certain machinery products

  • Manufacturers’ experience shows that Notified Bodies often struggle to risk-assess or support the development of appropriate new safety concepts for new technologies ​​​​​​​ (such as AI) or new types of products


Access here the list of seven arguments supporting our views that the mandatory third party certification of the so-called "high-risk" machines is unjustified and disproportionate.