Essential requirements for gas appliances are set out in Annex I to the Gas Appliances Regulation.
There are no numerical requirements in the Regulation, because it would be impossible to establish uniform limit values for all appliances covered by the Regulation. Neither does the Regulation determine how to meet the presented requirements. Instead, it allows manufacturers some leeway for different technical solutions.
The essential requirements state that appliances must be designed and constructed so that they operate safely and when used normally, do not endanger persons, domestic animals or property. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to analyse the risks to identify the risks associated with the appliance they manufacture. The materials used must be suitable for the intended purpose and withstand any foreseeable mechanical, chemical and thermal conditions.
The essential requirements for the design and construction of appliances state that it must be designed and constructed so that:
- the risk of explosion in the event of fire from an external source is minimised
- the appliance must operate safely when the auxiliary energy varies within the normal limits
- prevents gas-related risks due to electrical hazards
- prevents risks related to gas arising from hazards from electromagnetic phenomena
- a fault in the safety, control or adjusting equipment does not result in a hazardous situation
- if the appliance includes safety and control equipment, the operation of the safety equipment must not be bypassed with the control equipment
- leaking gas does not pose a hazard
- when normally used, the ignition and re-ignition are level, and the ignition occurs throughout
- the combustion process is stable when used normally, and the combustion products do not contain more than acceptable concentrations of substances hazardous to health
- parts installed or placed in close proximity to surfaces must not reach temperatures that cause danger
- the parts which might come to contact with food or water intended for human consumption must not impair the quality of the food or water.
Note: the above is not an exhaustive list of the essential requirements of the Regulation.
The European standards present more detailed product-specific requirements and test methods for demonstrating compliance.
What does an appliance’s presumption of conformity mean?
When an appliance is designed and manufactured in accordance with the harmonised standards, it enjoys a “presumption of conformity”, meaning that it is considered to comply with the relevant essential requirements of EU law if
- the manufacturer has designed, manufactured, examined and tested the product in accordance with the harmonised standards
- and the product complies fully with all the relevant harmonised standards.
The manufacturer has no obligation to manufacture the appliance in accordance with the standards, as the standards are recommendations in nature and their use is voluntary. The requirements provided for in acts and decrees are mandatory, meaning that they must be followed.
What is a harmonised standard?
The product legislation of the EU sets essential requirements related to safety, health and the environment on certain product groups. In order to make the manufacturing of compliant products easier and to ensure that the requirements of the EU legislation are fulfilled, European or harmonised standards are drawn up, by order of the EU. A harmonised standard is a standard drawn up by a European standardisation organisation that has been confirmed upon the request of the European Commission in order to apply the EU product legislation. The references of harmonised standards are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Official Journal of the European Union OJEU
The Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) is the main content source for EUR-Lex. It is published every day in the official languages of the EU (regularly from Monday to Friday; only in urgent cases on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays).
The journal has two series:
• L (legislation)
• C (communications and notices)
The subseries CA (e.g. C019A), which is published on the same day and the same number as the C-series, contains calls for expressions of interest and vacancy notices. The CA series journals can appear in one, several, or all of the official languages.
The new subseries LI and CI were introduced on 1 January 2016. They give flexibility to situations where the planned content of the Official Journal changes. Since 1 July 2013, the electronic version of the Official Journal has been the authentic version of the Official Journal with legal effects.