The new Simple Pressure Vessels Directive
The new Simple Pressure Vessels Directive (2014/29/EU) has been published and came into force on 20/04/16 to replace directive 87/404/EEC.
Simple pressure vessels are intended to contain air or nitrogen at a gauge pressure greater than 0.5 bar but less than or equal to 30 bar, and not intended to be exposed to heat.
Simple pressure vessels must be manufactured in series production and be of welded steel or aluminum construction with a total pressure.volume (PS.V) product not exceeding 10,000 bar.litres.
All Category A vessels must meet the essential safety requirements outlined in Annex 1 of the Directive. They must have safety clearance, the CE mark and the other specified information shown on the vessel and be issued with appropriate instructions.
All Category B vessels must be manufactured in accordance with engineering practice recognized as sound in an EEA State and bear the specified inscriptions (but not the CE mark).
The Directive is one of a series of measures intended to create a single European market in which the technical requirements for goods are identical.
The purpose of the SPV Directive is to provide for a legal structure whereby certain types of pressure vessel can be manufactured and sold throughout the European community without having to go through a local approval regime in every member state. The means by which this is achieved is to ensure common standards of safety for all such vessels sold within the European Economic Area. Manufacturers are therefore able to meet the requirements for approval in any member state of the EU, and do not have to repeat the process when selling goods in any other state.
In most cases, manufacturers will have their vessels approved in their home state. Manufacturers outside of the EU may also have approvals and test work undertaken at their own factory (and in many cases this is obligatory) but responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the directive will ultimately rest on the person responsible for placing the product on the market within the EU.