The New PPE Regulations

Published: 17 Apr 2019

Background information

As reported in the news, the PPE regulations ((EU) 2016/425) will come into effect on 21st April 2019. These regulations aim to ensure that the user will get better and safer PPE. This means that distributors and importers are now responsible for standards as well as the manufacturers.

The new regulations deal mainly with reclassification of PPE into different categories and conformance standards, e.g. hearing protection has moved from a Category 2 to Category 3 – essentially it has now been classified as more important to protect your team’s hearing.

Under the new regulations, distributors will need to keep records of conformity on file for 10 years.


CLASSIFICATION under new PPE regulation will be broken down into 3 categories:


Category definitions

Category I - exclusively for minimal risks

Category II - risks other than those listed in Categories I and III

Category III - includes exclusively the risks that may cause very serious consequences (such as death or irreversible damage to health)


The new PPE Regulations deal with the manufacture and supply of all kinds of PPE.  They do not affect the use of PPE or regulations relating to PPE at work use.


Obligations of Manufacturers, Importers and Distributors

  • All PPE issued by the manufacturer must be accompanied with a Certificate of Conformity
  • Importers and Distributors shall place only compliant PPE on the market
  • Before placing PPE on the market, Importers and Distributors shall ensure that the appropriate conformity assessment procedures have been carried out by the manufacturer
  • Where an Importer and Distributor considers, or has reason to believe, that PPE is not in conformity; they shall not place it on the market. Furthermore, the importer shall inform the manufacturer and the market surveillance authorities to that effect
  • Importers shall ensure that, while the PPE is under their responsibility, storage or transport conditions do not jeopardise its conformity
  • Importers shall indicate, on the PPE, their name, registered trade name, or registered trade mark and the postal address at which they can be contacted


Documentation needed by Importers and Distributors

The distributor and importer will need to keep a copy of the Manufacturers Examination Certificate and Declaration of Conformity on file.

They will need to:

  • Keep the Declaration of Conformity for the product they are handling
  • Ensure the user instructions are in the correct language
  • Be prepared to hold records for at least 10 years (after the PPE has been placed on the market)

What do these new regulations mean for CSC clients?

Clients must:

  • Purchase PPE from approved suppliers who adhere to the regulations
  • Ensure that conformance stamps / CE marks are in place on PPE purchased
  • Ensure that safety data sheets reflect that the PPE has met the required standard
  • Keep all relevant PPE records for 10 years

If you are unsure how these changes could effect you, please do not hesitate to contact us