Conformity assessment of gas appliances is a two-part procedure to ensure that the designed appliance meets the essential requirements of the Gas Appliances Regulation, and that the products manufactured and placed on the market are of the same quality as the originally designed product.
The notified body must be involved in both phases of the assessment. EU-type examination – Production type (Module B) is the stage at which the notified body checks the conformity of the intended product type. The quality assurance modules C2–G ensure that products placed on the market are of the same quality and safety level as the type-tested product. The conformity assessment must be performed separately for each model placed on the market.
The company produces several different models of the same product type with different power output, using the same technology.
However, the conformity of each model manufactured must be assessed separately. For example, based on the assessment of the model with the highest power, lower power models cannot be type-approved, because, despite the uniform technical implementation, they may present risks that are not present in the model with the highest power.
The EU aims to guarantee the free movement of products by harmonising requirements for products. The product requirements have been harmonised by directives, regulations and decisions. Every member state of the European Union is obliged to introduce the directives into the country’s legislation through national laws and regulations. On the other hand, regulations and decisions are directly applicable and shall enter into force as such in the member states.
The Gas Appliances Regulation contains the essential requirements for gas appliances, as well as the applicable conformity assessment procedures. Appliance may be placed on the EU market and brought into use only if it meets the essential requirements set forth in the Gas Appliances Regulation.
The manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that the gas appliance meets all the applicable requirements. The manufacturer must carry out the applicable conformity assessment procedure or have it carried out; this comprises the checks and tests that allow the conformity of the appliance to be assessed and verified. The technical requirements and test methods for the gas appliance are set out in the relevant standards. If the design, manufacture, inspection, and testing of the gas appliances are carried out in compliance with harmonised standards, and the equipment fully meets the requirements of these standards, the equipment is presumed to be in conformity with the applicable essential requirements (presumption of conformity).
However, the application of harmonised standards is voluntary. The manufacturer may, alternatively, choose some other way of attesting conformity with the essential requirements of the Directives. In practice, however, this approach is more difficult than following the established standards.
A notified body is always required to assess the conformity of a gas appliance. A notified body is an instance notified to the European Commission by a member state that is authorised to carry out conformity assessment tasks; these are listed in the NANDO database. Market surveillance authorities do not inspect appliances before they have been placed on the market.
Once the manufacturer of the gas appliance has drawn up the technical documentation and demonstrated the appliance’s compliance with the applicable requirements in accordance with the conformity assessment procedure, the manufacturer shall draw up and sign an EU declaration of conformity.
To attest and prove conformity, the manufacturer must affix the CE marking to every piece of appliance placed on the market. In addition to the CE marking, the gas appliance must include other required markings such as traceability information. The instructions and information necessary for the safe and purposeful installation, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of the appliance must also be delivered with the appliance, in Finnish and Swedish.
In serial production of gas appliances, procedures must be in place to ensure that all appliances meet the essential requirements of the regulations. Changes to the appliance's design or features, along with changes to harmonised standards or technical specifications on the basis of which the conformity of the appliance is declared, must be taken into consideration in the conformity assessment of the appliance.