LVD Low Voltage Directive (2014/35/EU) - Compliance and CE Marking Guide
Law & Legislation
1. What is the Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU?
The Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU (LVD) is a European Directive that outlines safety requirements for all electrical equipment sold within the EU - specifically, 50-100V AC or 75-1500V DC. This article describes how to comply with the Directive.
The purpose of the Low Voltage Directive is to ensure safe electrical equipment within a specific voltage range for European citizens. It is a standard harmonised legislation to safeguard consumers from distress or injury. Manufacturers need to make sure that:
- the product is safe for humans, animals and property,
- the equipment carries a document with it to provide consumers with appropriate usage guidance,
- the product can resist environmental conditions and is not influenced by them in such a way as to make it injurious for humans and animals.
Also, the manufacturer is required to affix CE markings, complete Declaration of Conformity and compile a technical file.
This directive covers such electrical equipment as household appliances, laser equipment, sockets and cables.
2. Directive Name
Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU
3. Directive Number & Download Link to Legal Directive
Directive 2014/35/EU to be downloaded from the following link:
4. Notified Body (aka, Independent Assessment) Required?
Before a manufacturer can start with the required procedure to assess their product, it is important that they determine whether the said product requires self-assessment or a Notified Body needs to be involved.
The directive 2014/35/EU requires self-assessment of the products by the manufacturers to ensure safe and healthy electrical equipment for the European market. This directive, however, does not require specific independent notified bodies to assess any of the electrical equipment that fall under the scope of this directive.
5. Products Covered
The directive 2014/35/EU covers all the electrical items with an input or output of alternating current voltage ranging from 50 to 1000 V or direct current voltage between 75 and 1500 V.
Equipment which are used by being incorporated into other electrical equipment as well as those which work directly, all fall under the scope of this directive, provided they work in the given current voltage range.
6. Examples of Products Covered by the LVD
The type of products covered under the Low Voltage Directive, include the following:
- Electrical appliances
- Hand-held electrical home appliances
- 230 V socket outlets
- Travel adapters
- Lighting equipment
- Cables and wires
7. Examples of Products NOT Covered
Some examples of products which do not fall under this directive’s scope are as follows:
- Electrical equipment to be used for radiology and medical procedures
- Electrical equipment for explosives
- Electricity meters
- Plug and socket outlets
- Electrical equipment for goods and passenger lifts
- Radio-electrical interference
8. Enforcement & Penalties
Each EU member state is required to lay down rules on penalties for not complying with the Low Voltage product safety directive. Below you can find the penalties for member states Germany and the UK as an example. For penalties relevant to other specific EU member states, please consult that state's local legislation on product safety.
- Germany - violation of the "Produktsicherheitsgesetz" (product safety legislation) can result in fines of €3,000 - €30,000 (§ 19) and imprisonment of up to 1 year (§ 20).
- In the UK, directive violations are are covered under Section 33 HSWA offenses and can result in an unlimited fine and up to two years imprisonment.
9. How to Comply: Requirements & Process
The Directive’s protection requirements ask the manufacturer that the equipment be safe; to mention the manufacturer’s name, address and instructions about the safe use of the equipment on the packaging.
Declaration of Conformity (contents)
The basic layout and content of a declaration of conformity are common for all directives, but may differ slightly for each directive.
The following are required by most directives:
- Manufacturer’s name and address
- The equipment’s description and/or serial number
- Reference to relevant harmonized standards
- Reference to the specifications, where necessary, by which conformity is declared
- Details of the signatory
- The two ending digits of the year of CE mark affixation
The technical file should, at least, contain the following:
- Equipment’s general description
- Basic design and manufacturing drawings, sketches of the circuits, components etc. with their descriptions
- A list of the applied harmonized standards
- Results of the calculations and tests carried out on it
- Reports of the tests
Affixing CE Marking
When all the necessary steps have been taken, it is time to get the product affixed with a CE marking. The marking should be placed either on the equipment, packaging or instructions. The letters must be vertically equal in dimensions and must not be smaller 5 millimeters. If there are other Directives which cover the product as well, the CE marking must be affixed only when all the Directives have been met.
10. Free Template Download
For a free Declaration of Conformity template for the Low Voltage directive, please refer to the downloads section of the page below:
11. Related Directives
Some of the products that are covered by Low Voltage Directive may or may not be covered by these directives:
Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive, Ecodesign Directive, Medical Devices Directive, Machinery Directive, Atex Directive (for equipment used in explosive atmospheres), RED Directive (for radio and telecommunication directive).
12. Useful Links (testing Labs, further information)
Links you might find useful in gaining more information regarding the Low Voltage Directive.