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Update: New EU Machinery Directive & e-Bikes

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In a special eMail Newsletter dated December 9, Bike Europe reported on the new EU Machinery Directive and the fact that the European Commission wants to apply this Directive to electric pedal assisted bicycles. Our report stated that the e-Bike industry had up to December 20 to submit arguments and its position before this new Directive entered into force on December 29, 2009. The latest news is

Update: New EU Machinery Directive & e-Bikes

BRUSSELS, Belgium – In a special eMail Newsletter dated December 9, Bike Europe reported on the new EU Machinery Directive and the fact that the European Commission wants to apply this Directive to electric pedal assisted bicycles. Our report stated that the e-Bike industry had up to December 20 to submit arguments and its position before this new Directive entered into force on December 29, 2009.

The latest news is that the European Commission is planning a special meeting with the e-Bike industry which is to take place beginning February; an exact date is due to the season holidays not fixed yet but will be announced soon.

The European Commission will inform the European Two-Wheeler Retailers’ Association (ETRA) on the date for this meeting. ETRA became aware of the intended applicability of the Machinery Directive for e-Bikes as ETRA Secretary General Annick Roetynck attended a meeting of the European Commission’s working group “Machinery” which had electric bicycles on the agenda on December 8.

At this meeting, ETRA’s Annick Roetynck explained how the possible applicability of the Machinery Directive had come as a surprise. She also expressed worries about new administrative burdens that may result in higher costs. Furthermore, she stated that the overall majority of the electric bicycle manufacturers are not aware of this new legislation.

Since our December 9 report also a meeting of the CEN Technical Committee 333 (responsible for the CEN bicycle standards as well as the EPAC EN 15194 standard for e-Bikes) took place which had the Machinery Directive on the agenda. The outcome of this meeting and the position of the CEN TC 333 in this matter is not yet clear as Committee Chairman Siegfried Neuberger is still on holiday. As soon as he is back Bike Europe will contact him.

However, in an earlier reaction to Bike Europe Neuberger stated: “In my point of view the decision of the European Commission has not a direct impact on the EN 15194 standard for e-Bikes. Of course there was no mandate from the European Commission to work out the standard under the Machinery Directive, because when we started the work on EN 15194, the e-Bikes have been excluded from the old Machinery Directive. I passed on information to the European Commission that there is a standard with safety requirements and test-methods for e-Bikes and we have to check now if some additional requirements have to be implemented. This dialog has to be between CEN /TC 333 and the EC.

“In my opinion the European Commission didn’t have the intention to include e-Bikes in the Machinery Directive 2006/24/EC, but by changing the scope, they did. Most of the requirements in this Directive are made for machines and not for electric bicycles.”

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