The FSA and ESA organisations have been active with trade representatives working on the Environmental Goods Act (EGA). This act is an attempt to help the environment, by agreeing that products which are dedicated to improving the environment, should be traded freely on a global basis.
Products are agreed by the HS code definition for the product. HS codes are used by customs and excise departments to ensure the correct import duties are attached to each product.
So for products to be added to the EGA, the HS codes needed to be investigated. This entailed a working group of FSA and ESA members who conducted an exercise to ensure each sealing device was given the correct HS code.
The basis for the research was the international codes definitions in the UN comtrade database, and in the case of gaskets, the US Customs and Borders agency definitions for gaskets. These documents enabled the group to come up with the correct definition for each product.
The only really contentious issue was for AF sheet based gaskets where we agreed these should be defined as “synthetic inorganic materials, glass, aramid and mineral fibres, charged with fillers, and bonded with elastomers”.
The result of this groups work resulted in a table of sealing devices and their correct codes:
The aim of the directive is to ensure that European citizens enjoy good quality drinking water in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) requirement that all citizens have a right to safe drinking water.
There have been several attempts to create a single Europe wide standard in compliance with the Drinking Water Directive DWD 98/83/EC. In 1998 an initiative under the European Acceptance Scheme (EAS), with work carried out under the auspices of the European Commission (DG Enterprise), was started. This had the aim of harmonising the assessment schemes of products in contact with potable water in line with Article 10 of the Drinking Water Directive (DWD). The target was to bring greater harmonization by combining the Drinking Water Directive and the Construction Products Directive. In particular the EAS was to standardise the quality assurance of treatments, equipment, and materials in contact with drinking water.
This mandate was issued in 2001, and revised in 2006 and required the harmonisation of standards for Construction Products in contact with water intended for human consumption, transportation, storage, and distribution right to the tap. An Expert Group, Construction Products Drinking Water (EG-CPDW) was set up to help the initiative.
So member states suspended work on their own acceptance schemes while expecting the EAS and EG-CPDW to deliver a harmonised scheme.
4 Member States (4MS)
There appear to have been too many issues associated with the EAS for potable water. The general view was that Mandate 136 was far too wide in scope, with too many political requirements to ever deliver a unified scheme, lacked the required resources, and as a result the European Commission withdrew its support for the EAS in 2006.
So the four Member States (4MS) agreed in 2007 to pursue a common approach to the assessment of products in contact with drinking water. The long-term goal of this project is to set a pilot project as the basis for future EU regulation.
The 4 member states are France (Ministere du Travail de l’emploi et de sante); Germany (Bundersministerium fur Gesundheit); Netherlands (Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu); and United Kingdom (Defra – department for environment, food and rural affairs). A fifth member, Portugal, is in the process of joining the project.
The basis for the common approach was agreed as:
Today the four Member States still all have their own standards and acceptance tests, with the result that suppliers potentially have to have materials tested 4 times to ensure their products are accepted for use with potable water throughout Europe. (See appendix 1 for details of schemes and costs). This is patently a nonsense and a large additional cost to the suppliers, as well as creating a barrier to trade in Europe.
Members of the 4MS initiative have worked hard to agree a standard test that could satisfy everyone. At present there is no agreement between the Member States with the issues appearing to be:
However despite the differences of opinion the 4MS agreed a Declaration of Intent (DOI) made in 2011, which whilst not legally binding, would appear to give the best chance of success. The objectives of the DOI are:
CEN TC 164 WG2
In 2014 and in parallel to the 4MS initiative, the CEN TC 164 was set by the Commission in order to move towards a step-by-step approach on standards harmonization. The group is responsible for carrying out the technical work on synchronising and detailing the tests.
The Technical committee TC 164 is well on with getting agreement on the following issues:
The ESA has been in contact with the chairman of TC 164, and are now an accredited Liaison Member of TC 164, and attend their technical meetings. ESA is also a member of the European Drinking Water association (EDW), formerly ICPCDW, which is also a full member of TC 164
Article 10 of the Drinking Water Directive
DG Environment is conducting a review of Article 10 of the Drinking Water Directive, because of concerns at the lack of harmony within the EU of requirements for materials and products used in drinking water applications. ESA has formerly responded to this initiative giving details of the typical costs members encounter when having to conduct 4 versions of tests for each product to gain local approval for their use on drinking water. Details of the various costs for the 4 member state testing facilities are in Appendix 1.
European Union of “Mutual Recognition” is a legal condition of EU membership that states that if a product or material passes an agreed test in one member state, then the other members states are bound to accept this product or material under the concept of mutual recognition.
Following a meeting on 9th March with the European Commission’s DG GROW to discuss the background and prospects of success of the ongoing initiatives around water standards the ESA has formed a policy to act on behalf of its members.
The ESA attended various meetings in Brussels and Munich to determine our best approach.
This resulted in the ESA:
The ESA’s position is that it fully supports TC 164 work on harmonising a single pan European test for products in contact with drinking water, with the removal of the cost of meeting multiple tests. If required ESA will support the “Mutual Consent” principle
|Country||Standard||Approval Body||Life of approval||Cost of Testing|
|France||Attestation de Conformitie Sanitaire|
|ACS (AFNOR XP P41-250||ACS, Carso||5 Years||€5000|
|Germany||Kunstoffe und trinkwasser|
|KTW||DVGW, Karlsruhe||5 Years||€4000|
|United Kingdom||Water Regulations Advisory Scheme||£825 to £1295|
|WRAS/WRC BS 6920,2000||WRAS||5 Years||+ £325 for certificate|
|ISO 17025||KIWA Test Centre||5 Years||€1200|
|USA||National Science Foundation|
|NSF Ansi 61||Licensed Test houses||5 Years||$2000|
The ESA published a large reference document of Best Available Techniques (BATs) in 2009 which detailed the IPPC 1996/61/EC directive and the BATs for each type of Sealing Device available.
The relevant regulation has now changed to IED 2010/75/EU, and the technologies available within sealing devices has improved over the intervening years, hence the issuing of an updated BAT for sealing Devices.
The key point is that IED 2010/75 combines and merges 7 existing directives. (IPPC (1996/61/EC and 2008/1/EC); Large Combustion Plants (2001/76/EC); Waste Incineration (2000/76/EC); Solvent Emissions (1999/13/EC); and 3 existing TiO2 directives).
The MAJOR change is that the IED now strengthens the role of BREFs and BATs recommendations and includes the issuing of Permits to allow plants to operate, and the Permit Conditions which include emission limit values for ALL POULTANTS which are to be determined in BATs. IPPCs did not include permit conditions, so IED 2010/75 is MUCH tougher, and BATs are MUCH more important documents.
The types of installations covered by IED 2010/75 are much the same (Energy Industries; Metal Industries; Mineral Industries; Chemical Industries; Waste Management; and the “Other” industries including: Tanneries; Pulp and Paper; Wood based panels; Textiles; Slaughterhouses; Food and Drink; Surface treatment with organic solvents; and the ubiquitous Intensive Livestock Farming. All these documents focus on the process BREFs and general BATs.
The BATs conclusions are the reference for setting permit conditions and permits must contain the Emission Limit Values (ELVs) detailed in the BAT.
By their very nature BATs are dynamic and are required to be updated frequently and an 8 year minimum cycle is recommended.
The scope of the IED is heavily focused on the environment, with particular attention to:
· Emissions to air;
· Emissions to water;
· Emissions to land;
· Prevention and control of accidents;
· Waste prevention and recovery;
· Energy and water use;
· And now, noise; vibration; heat; and odour.
This effectively is the working group, chaired by DG Environment in Brussels, which decides, via the expert working group (similar to the IPPC Information Exchange Forum), on the technical issues for all the new BREFs that are to be issued as part of IED. BAT conclusions are agreed by qualified majority, adopted via the implementing acts. This is similar to the Seville process of the IPPCs.
Mark Neal is a member of Article 13 forum on behalf of ESA.
There is a published list of active BREFs, and the programme of new and reviews of BREFs available from DG Environment. Recent work includes the recent draft on Large Volume Organic Chemicals (LVOC) and the Large Combustion Plant (LCP), and there has been a call for participation in the Waste Gas in Chemical Sector BREF.
ESA fully supports the concept of industry BREFs and BATs and the concept of operating permits, with emission limits set by BATs.
ESA wants to be an active member of Article 13 forum and ensure the very best sealing devices are used within the industries covered by BREFs, and to help set realist emissions targets for operating permits, based on the best Sealing Techniques being used.
ESA is committed to reducing emissions to the atmosphere, water sources and land. ESA fully supports efforts to reduce accidents, waste, energy use, water use, noise and odour.
IPPC Directive 2010/75/EU Reference documents are available at:
BAT reference Documents are available at:
Underlying Principle of EC 1935/2004
Article 3 of EC 1935/2004 states that materials and articles, including active and intelligent materials and articles, shall be manufactured in compliance with good manufacturing practice so that, under normal or foresable conditions of use, they do not transfer their constituents to food in quantities, which could endanger human health or bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food or bring about a deterioration in the organoleptic characteristics thereof.
The Members of the European Sealing Association (ESA) Mechanical Seals Division have developed the following “Position Statement” to further clarify the subject.
The new Directive 2014/34/EU applies to equipment and protective systems for use in potentially explosive atmospheres and is mandatory as from 20 April 2016. It replaces Directive 94/9/EC. With this revised Directive, the essential health and safety requirements have not changed. It was the aim of the revision to harmonize the requirements with the New Legislative Framework - NFL.
The precedent Directive ATEX 94/9/EC (ATEX 95) – ‘Equipment and Protective Systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres’ has been mandatory since July 1st 2003. On Feb 22nd 2005, the EC ATEX Standing Committee provided a “Consideration document” on mechanical seals defining when a mechanical seal is to be considered a machinery element or an ATEX Component. Bearing Isolator seals should be considered in a similar manner to mechanical seals.
The Members of the European Sealing Association (ESA) Mechanical Seals Division have developed the following “Position Statement” to further clarify related issues.
The new Directive 2014/34/EU applies to equipment and protective systems for use in potentially explosive atmospheres and is mandatory as from 20 April 2016. It replaces Directive 94/9/EC. With this revised Directive, the essential health and safety requirements have not changed. It was the aim of the revision to harmonize the requirements with the New Legislative Framework – NFL.
The antecedent Directive ATEX 94/9/EC (ATEX 95) has been mandatory since 1 July 2003. The interpretation of how this Directive applies to Mechanical Seals is still largely misunderstood. On 22 Feb 2005, the EC ATEX Standing Committee provided a “Consideration document” on mechanical seals defining when a mechanical seal is to be considered a machinery element or an ATEX Component.
The Members of the European Sealing Association (ESA) Mechanical Seals Division support this“Consideration document”and have developed the following “Position Statement” to summarize its content and to further clarify related issues.
The new Directive 2006/42/EC was transposed from in December 2009, on the repeal of the original Directive 98/37/EC. After consultation, it is the judgement of the ESA Mechanical Seals Division that the definition on applicable "Machinery" (in either the original or new Directive) does not apply to mechanical seals. They shall be classified as machinery elements or components when applicability to the Machinery Directive is considered and conformance is not required. Further detail is available in a Position Statement, which has been developed by the Members of the ESA Mechanical Seals Division.
The ESA has sought advice from sources across Europe, including the Verein Deutscher Maschinenbau-Anstalten e.V. (VDMA, Germany) and the Department of Trade and Industry (dti, United Kingdom) regarding the implications of the Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) for mechanical seals. A Position Statement is available for clarification.