A distributor is a natural or legal person in the supply chain, other than the manufacturer or the importer, who makes PPE available on the market.
Legal obligations of distributors world
- When making PPE available on the market, distributors shall act with due care in relation to the requirements of this Regulation.
- Before making PPE available on the market, distributors shall verify that it bears the CE marking, is accompanied by the required documents and by the instructions and information in a language which can be easily understood by consumers and other end-users in the Member State in which PPE is to be made available on the market and that the manufacturer and the importer have complied with the requirements. Where a distributor considers or has reason to believe that PPE is not in conformity with the applicable essential health and safety requirements set out in Annex II, he shall not make the PPE available on the market until it has been brought into conformity. Furthermore, where the PPE presents a risk, the distributor shall inform the manufacturer or the importer to that effect as well as the market surveillance authorities. Distributors provide storage or transport conditions, the conformity of the PPE is not undermined.
- Distributors shall ensure that, while PPE is under their responsibility, its storage or transport conditions do not jeopardise its conformity with the applicable essential health and safety requirements.
- Distributors who consider or have reason to believe that PPE which they have made available on the market is not in conformity with this Regulation shall make sure that the corrective measures necessary to bring it into conformity, to withdraw it or to recall it, as appropriate, are taken. Furthermore, where the PPE presents a risk, distributors shall immediately inform the competent national authorities of the Member States in which they have made the PPE available on the market to that effect, giving details, in particular, of the non-conformity and of any corrective measures taken.
Distributors shall, further to a reasoned request from a competent national authority, provide it with all the information and documentation, in paper or electronic form, necessary to demonstrate the conformity of the PPE. They shall cooperate with that authority, at its request, on any action taken to eliminate the risks posed by PPE which they have made available on the market.
Distributor sometimes manufacturer
An importer or distributor shall be considered a manufacturer for the purposes of this Regulation and he shall be subject to the obligations of the manufacturer set out in Article 8 where he places PPE on the market under his name or trademark or modifies PPE already placed on the market in such a way that compliance with this Regulation may be affected.
Protective clothing is regularly via and under the name of (industrial) laundries put on the market. In this case, the relevant laundry is seen as manufacturer and has this same obligation as mentioned in the PPE Regulation.
For the full text: PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425.