Is a single set of EU rules for farm and utility machines on the horizon?

A single European system of rules is being sought by a combination of European ‘mobile machine’ manufacturers from the European Commission, according to CEMA (European Agricultural Machinery Industry), in a joint statement with other representative groups.

The combined effort by the industry’s representative organisations hopes to establish a harmonised set of rules for mobile machines to travel on public roads.

In essence, the creation of a single EU approval system for mobile machines (i.e. combine harvesters, telehandlers, excavators, ride-on mowers tec.), which will authorise them for use on roads across Europe – without imposing further national technical requirements.

As it stands, mobile machines have to be given authorisation in individual EU countries, and must be deemed compliant with various national regulations in terms of lighting, weight, braking, signalling and width etc. for road use.

These wide ranging individual rules are described as “costly”, “cumbersome” and “unnecessary for producers and users alike” by CEMA.

The proposals to change such rules are supported by the European associations CECE (construction equipment), CEMA (agricultural machinery), EGMF (garden equipment), EUnited Municipal Equipment and FEM (materials handling equipment).

The proposed changes are being voiced ahead of an official commission proposal to modify existing legislation, expected in 2018.

Proposals include suggestions on a new-look approval system, with minimised bureaucracy and some existing relevant legislation – as well as how harmonised standards may look upon completion.

According to the industry representatives, a harmonised system would improve competitiveness in the sector by removing needless administrative and economic burdens, and would create a level playing field for both customers and manufacturers, as well as easing workloads and reducing delays.

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