Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments

PHASE 1: Does the Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments Directive Apply to Your Product?

As a manufacturer, you need to secure copies of the Directives and judge whether they apply to your product. The European Commission (EC) does not publish a list of products to which their laws apply; they require the manufacturer to determine the applicability of directives to any given product. The Directive 90/384/EEC, Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments, defines a weighing instrument as “a measuring instrument serving to determine the mass of a body by using the action of gravity on that body. A weighing instrument may also serve to determine other mass-related magnitudes, quantities, parameters, or characteristics.” A non-automatic weighing instrument is defined as “a weighing instrument requiring the intervention of an operator during weighing.” This Directive applies to all non-automatic weighing instruments.

A distinction is made in this Directive between non-automatic weighing instruments for the “determination of mass for commercial transactions” and all other non-automatic weighing instruments. The complete list of weighing instruments for commercial transactions is listed in Article 1.2(a) of this Directive. Automatic weighing instruments listed in Article 1.2(a) must meet the requirements listed in Annex I of this Directive. It is also important to remember that products that are subject to the Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments Directive may also be subject to other EU Directives. To view the Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments Directive and see the latest list of standards for that directive, please go to the European Commission's website at http://www.newapproach.org and click on "Directives and Standards."

This overview of the Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments Directive is still being developed. For additional information on this directive, please contact either of the U.S. Department of Commerce's EU Specialists: Bob Straetz at 202-482-4496 or Sylvia Mohr at 011 32 2 508 2675.

PHASE 2: CE Marking Requirements for the Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments Directive

The Directive 90/384/EEC, Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments, is a codified list of standards that manufacturers of products falling under this Directive must meet to import their products into the European Union. The CE Marking is the mark that indicates that a product has met the minimum health, environmental, and safety requirements listed in the Directive. If a product requires a CE Marking, the requirement applies equally to all products sold in Europe regardless of the country of origin.

The Directive 90/384/EEC, Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments, does not allow for CE Marking self-certification. Non-automatic weighing instruments listed in Article 1.2(a) must satisfy the “essential requirements” specified in Annex I of this Directive for CE Marking certification. Devices connected to the weighing instrument that are not used for the tasks listed in Article 1.2(a) are not subject to the “essential requirements” listed in Annex I.

The conformity to the requirements specified in Annex I of the Directive can be certified by either of the listed procedures below. Both methods of conformity require the use of a notified body for certification. A notified body is a testing facility that has met the requirements set forth in the Directive, and is licensed by the EU Member State in which it is based to verify conformity of applicable products.

An EC type examination followed by either an EC declaration of type conformity (a guarantee of production quality) or by EC verification. According to Annex II.1 of the Directive, an EC type examination consists of a notified body verifying and certifying a representative sample of a product meets the Directive requirements that apply to that product. The complete text and requirements for an EC declaration of type conformity are located in Annex II.2 and in Annex II.3 of the Directive for EC verification.

EC unit verification is the process of a notified body “checking and attesting” that a product, designed for a specific application, meets the applicable requirements listed in the Directive. The complete text for EC unit verification is located in Annex II.4 of the Directive.

A list of approved testing facilities is published in the Official Journal of the European Communities along with their identification numbers and the tests that each lab is approved to conduct. To view the Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments Directive and see the latest list of standards for that directive, please go to the European Commission's website at http://www.newapproach.org and click on "Directives and Standards."

This overview of the Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments Directive is still being developed. For additional information on this directive, please contact either of the U.S. Department of Commerce's EU Specialists: Bob Straetz at 202-482-4496 or Sylvia Mohr at 011 32 2 508 2675.


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