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This article applies to selling in: United Kingdom

Low Voltage Directive (LVD)

Directive 2014/35/EU (the “LVD”) sets out requirements relating to electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits, in order to provide for a high level of protection of health and safety of persons, and of domestic animals and property. The requirements include safety objectives for the design and manufacture of electrical equipment, labelling requirements, the applicable conformity assessment procedures. The LVD also sets out obligations of manufacturers, importers and distributors.

If you manufacture, import or distribute electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage ranges, you will need to comply with the requirements of the LVD.

It is your responsibility to comply with the Low Voltage Directive. You must also comply with national laws and regulations in Member States, which implement the LVD. This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice. We encourage you to consult your legal counsel if you have questions about the laws and regulations concerning your product.

What products does the LVD apply to?

The LVD applies to electrical equipment designed for use with a voltage rating of between 50 and 1,000 V for alternating current and between 75 and 1,500 V for direct current. There are some types of electrical equipment and phenomena that are outside of the scope of the LVD (for example, plugs and socket outlets for domestic use). A full list of electrical equipment not within scope can be found in Annex II of the LVD.

Examples of electrical equipment covered by the LVD are: household appliances, cables, power supply units and laser equipment.

Who has obligations under the LVD?

The LVD sets out obligations for manufacturers, authorized representatives, importers and distributors of electrical equipment.

  • You are a manufacturer if you manufacture electrical equipment yourself or have electrical equipment designed and manufactured and market it under your name or trademark.
  • You are an authorised representative if an electrical equipment manufacturer has given you a written mandate to act on their behalf in relation to specific tasks.
  • You are an importer if you are established in the EU and you sell from electrical equipment outside the EU into the EU.
  • You are a distributor if you make electrical equipment available for sale or supply but are not a manufacturer or importer.

How are manufactures and importers affected by the LVD?

Declaration of Conformity and CE marking:

Manufacturers must:

  • ensure that electrical equipment has been designed and manufactured in accordance with the safety objectives set out in the LVD;
  • carry out a conformity assessment and draw up the required technical documentation;
  • draw up an EU declaration of conformity in a language or languages required by the Member State in which the electrical equipment is sold;
  • affix the CE marking visibly, legibly and indelibly to the electrical equipment or to its data plate, and to the packaging;

Importers must:

  • ensure that the appropriate conformity assessment procedure has been carried out by the manufacture and that the manufacturer has drawn up the technical documentation and that the electrical equipment bears the CE marking.
  • ensure that, while an electrical equipment is under their responsibility, its storage or transport conditions do not jeopardise its compliance with the essential requirements.

Manufacturers and importers must keep a copy of the technical documentation and declaration of conformity for 10 years after the electrical equipment has been placed on the market.

Labelling and information:

Manufacturers and importers must ensure that the electrical equipment bears:

  • the name, registered trade name or registered trade mark and the postal address at which they can be contacted of the manufacturer and/or importer;
  • the type, batch or serial number or other element allowing the identification of the electrical equipment; and
  • the CE marking

Where it is not possible for this information to be on the electrical equipment itself, the above information should be on its packaging or a document accompanying the electrical equipment.

In addition, the electrical equipment must be accompanied by instructions, safety information and the Declaration of Conformity. This information should be in a language that can be easily understood by end-users and market surveillance authorities.

How are distributors affected by the LVD?

Distributors are required to exercise due care in relation to selling electrical equipment in the EU. This can include verifying that the equipment bears a CE marking and that the equipment is accompanied with appropriate documents for end users.

What should you do if electrical equipment is not in conformity with the LVD?

Manufacturers, importers and distributors should immediately take the corrective measures necessary to bring electrical equipment into conformity, to withdraw or to recall it, as appropriate.

Where the electrical equipment presents a risk, manufacturers, importers and distributors should immediately inform the competent national authorities of the Member States where it was sold, giving details, in particular, of the non-conformity and of any corrective measures taken.

Manufacturers, importers and distributors should provide a competent national authority with all the information and documentation, in paper or electronic form, necessary to demonstrate the conformity of the electrical equipment with the LVD, following a reasoned request.

Additional information

We strongly encourage you to visit the European Commission’s website for more information on the Low Voltage Directive:

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