Requirements for machinery

Machinery must comply with the requirements of the EU's Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. The requirements are the same throughout the European Union. The aim of harmonising the requirements is to ensure the free movement of products and a high level of safety.

In Finland, the directive has been implemented at the national level with the Government Decree on the Safety of Machinery 400/2008, i.e. the Machinery Decree.

The decree specifies

  • the obligations of the manufacturer of the machinery
  • the essential health and safety requirements relating to the design and construction of machinery
  • the procedures for demonstrating the conformity of the machinery and placing the machinery on the market.

Requirements in a nutshell

All machinery is subject to certain minimum requirements, including the following:

  • Machinery must be designed and constructed in accordance with the essential health and safety requirements specified in the Machinery Decree.
  • Machinery must bear the CE marking and certain other markings specified in the Machinery Decree, such as the designation of the machinery, the name and address of the manufacturer and the markings for identifying the machinery.
  • Machinery must be accompanied by appropriate operating and maintenance instructions and the EC Declaration of Conformity, which in Finland must be in Finnish and Swedish.

More information on the requirements can be found on the Manufacturer of the machine pages.

Definition of machinery

In short, machinery means an assembly fitted with or intended to be fitted with a drive system other than directly applied human or animal effort and consisting of linked parts or component. At least one of the parts or components must be moving.  Machinery is assembled for a specific application.

As an exception to the above, also manually powered machinery intended for lifting loads, such as jacking devices and manually powered winches, are regarded as machinery. Some other product groups are also regarded as machinery in the legislation. These include safety components, lifting accessories, lifting chains, ropes and webbing, and removable mechanical transmission devices. The exact definition of machinery can be found in the Machinery Decree.

Partly completed machinery means an assembly which is almost machine but which cannot in itself perform a specific application. For example, a drive system is partly completed machinery. Partly completed machinery is also subject to certain requirements. The number of partly completed machinery intended for consumer use is very low.

According to the legislation, for example the following product groups are excluded from the scope of machinery:

  • weapons
  • vehicles intended for use on the road
  • certain electrical and electronic products, such as
    • household appliances intended for domestic use
    • audio and video equipment, information technology equipment
    • ordinary office machinery

More detailed definitions and the scope of can be found in the Machinery Decree

Who and what the requirements cover?

The manufacturer of the machinery is responsible for its conformity. Also importers and distributors are subject to certain requirements for ensuring the conformity of the machinery.

The Machinery Decree is applied to

  • new machinery that is placed on the market, or imported or manufactured for own use in the EU
  • second-hand machinery imported from a third country, i.e. from outside the EU.

Partly completed machinery must also comply with certain requirements.

Authorities supervising the machinery

Tukes supervises the safety of machinery intended for consumer use. Machinery for professional use is supervised by the occupational safety and health authorities.


Definition of machinery
Check whether your machine falls in the scope of the Machinery Directive.

Machine design and construction
Make sure that the machinery is designed and constructed in accordance with the essential health and safety requirements specified in the Machinery Decree.

Technical file
Make sure that a technical file is compiled for the machinery.

Conformity assessment procedure
Consult Annex IV of the Machinery Decree to check whether your machinery requires an EC type-examination or full quality assurance.

Make sure that the machinery bears the CE marking and all other markings specified in the Machinery Decree.

EC Declaration of Conformity
Include the EC Declaration of Conformity of the machinery in the delivery.

Operating and maintenance instructions
Make sure that appropriate operating and maintenance instructions accompany the machinery.