Written by Alina-Alexandra Georgescu and Alison Davies
This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission’s Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal. This is a proposal to replace the Gas Appliances Directive 2009/142/EC (GAD) of 30 November 2009, which aims to permit the free movement of appliances and fittings burning gaseous fuels within the EU market while ensuring a high level of protection for their users against risks. The Directive is an example of Union harmonisation legislation, and is said to have contributed considerably to the completion and operation of the single market.
The Gas Appliances Directive (GAD) covers ‘appliances burning gaseous fuels that are used for cooking, heating, hot water production, refrigeration, lighting or washing, […] forced draft burners and heating bodies to be equipped with such burners’, as well as ‘fittings’ such as safety, controlling or regulating devices. It covers, where applicable, those appliances with a normal water temperature not exceeding 105°C. There are three categories of essential requirements listed in Annex I to the GAD: general conditions, requirements for materials and design, and construction requirements.
Although the GAD has been functioning well, experience with its implementation, as well as technical progress and innovation, suggested that it was appropriate to examine whether certain provisions needed to be reviewed. As a result, it has been deemed necessary to update and clarify some of its provisions, without however modifying its scope.
There is also unanimity on the need to align the current legislation with the New Legislative Framework (NLF). This is a common framework for EU product harmonization legislation which sets out general principles and reference provisions commonly used in EU product legislation (e.g. definitions, obligations of economic operators and notified bodies, safeguard mechanisms, etc.). It aims to address overall problems by removing inconsistencies in sectorial legislation so as to ensure its correct interpretation and application by the economic operators and authorities. Two parallel proposals, on cableways and personal protective equipment, have also recently been submitted in this context and the corresponding impact assessments are the subject of separate appraisals.