Protective clothing is classified as personal protective equipment and therefore subject to the CE marking legislation (Regulation (EC) 765/2008). Only PPE complying with the legal requirements, and bearing the CE mark may be marketed in the EU.
As of April 21, 2016, the PPE EU Regulation 2016/425 entered into force. The PPE Regulation replaces the PPE Directive 89/686/EC. For all member states there is a the transitional period of two years so that by April 21, 2018 this regulation will apply directly in all member states. This expires the current European Directive 89/686/EC and any national legislation for PPE.
Only from April 23, 2023 no longer PPE can be sold that has been admitted on the basis of the 'old' PPE Directive. What the final transition date for a specific product is, depends on the category and expiration date (or the lack thereof) of the EC type examination certificate.
The regulation is applicable to all PPE with the following exceptions:
- PPE designed specifically for use by the armed forces or law enforcement;
- PPE designed for use in self-defense, with the exception of PPE intended for sporting activities;
- PPE designed for private use to protect against:
- atmospheric conditions that are not of an extreme nature;
- damp and water during dishwashing;
- for exclusive use on seagoing vessels or aircraft under the relevant international treaties applicable in member states;
- for head, face or eye protection for users covered by Regulation No. 22 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on provisions concerning the approval of protective helmets and visors for drivers of motorcycles and mopeds.
Download here the full text of the PPE EU Regulation 2016 / 425_EN.