Download Appendix V

Download amendments to Marine Equipment Regulations

1. Introduction

The Norwegian Maritime Authority has laid down amendments to the Regulations of 30 August 2016 No. 1042 on marine equipment. The amendments involve the replacement of the technical annex (Appendix A) with a new Appendix V.

Regulation (EU) 2017/306 was published in the EU Official Journal on 24 February 2017, and the requirements come into force in the EU on 16 March 2017. The Regulation is currently being considered for incorporation into the EEA Agreement. Implementing acts adopted pursuant to the Marine Equipment Directive are pre-assessed as being EEA-relevant and acceptable and therefore follow the fast-track procedure of the EFTA process. The fast-track procedure usually takes 6–8 weeks before a decision to incorporate can thereafter be made at the next meeting of the EFTA committee. It is of great importance to the notified bodies designated by Norway, as well as Norwegian and foreign manufacturers who make use of these, that they at all times can follow the same regulations as their competitors elsewhere in the EEA. On account of this, the NMA has laid down amendments to the design, construction and performance requirements and testing standards pursuant to the Regulations of 30 August 2016 No. 1042 on marine equipment. The amendments correspond to the material content of Regulation (EU) 2017/306 and come into force on 16 March 2017, simultaneously with the entry into force of Regulation (EU) 2017/306 in the EU.

2. Consultation

The Regulation was adopted by the EU Commission pursuant to Article 35 (2) of Directive 2014/90/EU on Tuesday 8 November 2016, after consideration by the Committee on Safe Seas and the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (COSS). The Regulation defines and amends the design, construction and performance requirements and testing standards for marine equipment.

The proposed amendments to the Regulations on marine equipment were circulated for review for a short period in November 2016. A short response time was considered necessary to ensure that Norwegian design, construction and performance requirements and testing standards comply with the requirements in force in the EU at all times. In retrospect, we see that the way from adoption to publication was longer than we expected.

The NMA has not received any material comments to the circulated proposal.

3. Details about the legislation

Directive 2014/90/EU regulates, inter alia, the placement of marine equipment on the market. Not only does the Directive regulate rights and obligations of companies, but also of notified bodies and manufacturers of marine equipment and other economic operators. The objective of the Directive is to ensure harmonised implementation in the EU/EEA, as well as ensure equal conditions of competition.

Regulation (EU) 2017/306 is based on the current Annex A.1 to the previous Directive 96/98/EC and provides a tabular presentation of the design, construction and performance requirements and testing standards applicable for each piece of equipment that falls within the scope of the Directive. The table includes reference to the origin of the requirements in the relevant international conventions and further indicates the relevant modules for conformity assessment for each piece of equipment.

Compared to the current Annex A.1, the new table contains two new columns. These set out dates for the first allowed placing on the market and the last possible placing on board. In the event of changes for a specific piece of equipment, a new row will be added to the table indicating the new requirements. Here, a date will be set out, indicating when it is allowed to conformity assess, certify, wheel-mark and place on the market the product concerned pursuant to the new requirements, which is typically the date of entry into force of the Implementing Regulation. At the same time, a date will be added to the existing row for the same product indicating the last possible placing on board of equipment that complies with the old requirements. This date will normally be retrieved from the amendment decision made pursuant to the respective international convention. In other words, setting dates in column 5 and 6 will only be relevant in connection with amendments. What is meant by "placing on board" is described in the introductory explanations to the table and is subsequently specified for each piece of equipment.

At present, the organisation for notified bodies under the Marine Equipment Directive (MarED) has drafted a general interpretation of how to understand the date in column 5. According to MarED's interpretation of Regulation (EU) 2017/306, the notified bodies may carry out alternative or supplementary tests in accordance with new international requirements before the changes are included in an Implementing Regulation adopted pursuant to the Marine Equipment Directive. Certificates issued during this period, however, must reflect current law at the time of issue, and the equipment must at least satisfy the requirements applicable at that time. For equipment that has been tested according to new requirements before these came into force, the notified bodies have to issue new certificates when the amendments have entered into force (in this case 16 March 2017) in order to certify compliance with the new requirements, but this certification can be based on the already completed tests.

4. Economic and administrative consequences of the proposal

The system for conformity assessment and certification of marine equipment implements a common European regime for approval and certification of such equipment based on the requirements imposed by international conventions (SOLAS, MARPOL, COLREG). The international requirements and testing standards change over time and trigger corresponding needs to update the Marine Equipment Directive.

The pan-European regime ensures harmonised implementation of the requirements of the international conventions and promotes equal conditions of competition for manufacturers and notified bodies. Common rules also help reduce transaction costs associated with placing such equipment on the market. The regime shall at the same time ensure that marine equipment which is sold and installed or placed on board Norwegian ships has a proper standard of safety.

Regulation (EU) 2017/306 does not change the regime for conformity assessment and certification as such and will therefore not have further administrative or financial consequences for the industry than those arising from the international conventions. The financial and administrative consequences for the authorities are limited to the participation in EU processes in order to draw up amendments to the Marine Equipment Directive and implement such amendments into Norwegian legislation.

5. Details about the proposed amendments

The Regulations of 30 August 2016 No. 1042 on marine equipment are amended so that Appendix A is replaced by a new Appendix V, and section 1 second paragraph is amended so that this is reflected in the actual regulatory text.