The European Commission has issued a decision, Implementing Decision (EU) 2023/941, which establishes harmonized standards for personal protective equipment (PPE).
These standards are drafted to support Regulation (EU) 2016/425 of the European Parliament and the Council.
The decision is significant in ensuring that PPE conforming to these standards is presumed to comply with the essential health and safety requirements outlined in Annex II of the regulation.
In response to a standardization request, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) developed new harmonized standards and revised existing ones.
Among the new standards are EN 13138-1:2021 on buoyant aids for swimming instructions, EN 17520:2021 on personal belay lanyards, and EN ISO 16321-2:2021 on eye and face protection during welding.
The revised standards include EN ISO 16321-1:2022 on general requirements for eye and face protection, EN ISO 16321-3:2022 on mesh eye and face protectors, EN ISO 18527-1:2022 on downhill skiing and snowboarding goggles, and EN ISO 20345:2022 on safety footwear.
The Commission, in collaboration with CEN, has evaluated the drafted and revised harmonized standards and confirmed their compliance with the standardization request.
Consequently, it is appropriate to publish the references of these harmonized standards in the Official Journal of the European Union.
However, EN ISO 16321-2:2021 and EN ISO 16321-3:2022 contain an incorrect reference to the normative standard EN ISO 16321-1:2020, and thus, they will be published with a restriction.
To ensure clarity and coherence, a comprehensive list of harmonized standards supporting Regulation (EU) 2016/425 should be published in a single act. Currently, the references of these standards are outlined in Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/668 and Commission Communication 2018/C 209/03.
Due to substantial amendments and the need for further modification, Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/668 will be replaced.
Additionally, Communication 2018/C 209/03, which contains withdrawn references, will be repealed.
However, the communication will remain effective until the withdrawal dates specified in Annex II of the decision.
Compliance with a harmonized standard provides a presumption of conformity with the corresponding essential requirements of Union harmonization legislation.