Regulatory Round Up

Dale Camsell, the Construction Equipment Association’s Senior Technical Consultant, provides some insights into items on the technical agenda.

Life After Brexit

The dust is now settling and manufacturers are implementing new processes in order to ensure their products will comply with UK requirements. It is not envisaged that the UK government will, at any time soon, look to revise any of the EU derived goods regulations that were retained in UK law. Hence UK versions of, for example the EU Machinery Directive, Outdoor Noise Directive, EMC Directive, will likely remain in place for the foreseeable future. However, for non-road mobile machinery, the UK has yet to publish plans for its equivalent of the EU Stage V regulation. It is clear that EU type-approvals will remain valid for the GB market through 2021 but the situation beyond that is not known. The Department for Transport is planning a public consultation later this year, to which CEA plans to provide a response.

EU Regulatory Programme

There is a huge amount of activity in the EU, with regulators pushing ahead with a great many revisions to existing legislation as well as developing potential new regulations. In terms of revisions, some of the most fundamental pieces of legislation affecting our sector are at differing stages of progress through the update process. The amount of ongoing activity cannot be overstated and includes revisions to the Machinery Directive, Outdoor Noise Directive, EMC Directive, Radio Equipment Directive, and the all-important Blue Guide. New legislation being considered includes a regulation covering a single approval that would allow the road circulation of non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) that would be valid across the entire Single Market, and horizontal legislation covering artificial intelligence as well as cybersecurity.

Future Regulatory Alignment or Divergence?

There is one significant question that remains unanswered regarding the future UK regulatory regime; will it (a) continue to align with EU legislation, including mirroring any EU revisions in UK law, (b) remain unchanged, even if/when EU regulations are revised or newly implemented, or (c) will it do something entirely different? It is impossible to predict what the future holds in this respect. As part of its EU exit strategy, the UK committed to uphold safety and environmental standards but political and economic factors will play an important part in the government’s decisions on the future of GB goods regulations.

New Administration in USA

The newly inaugurated President has already started to act on his environmental charter. It is noted that US machinery emissions limits now lag behind those of Europe and will soon have fallen behind China. We will watch with interest to see if the USA introduces a Tier 5. If so, industry will likely lobby that it aligns with European Stage V.