New PPE regulation

On 21 April 2018, the new PPE regulation (EU) 2016/425 will replace the PPE guidelines 89/686/EEC. All personal protection equipment (PPEs) with a CE certification has to meet the new PPE regulation.

What is personal protection equipment?

Personal protection equipment is used by people who carry out work that involves certain risks, usually in order to prevent injury and physical harm. The use of PPEs is the most direct way of reducing work-related risks. Examples of PPEs are hearing protection, hand protection and face protection.

What is a CE certification?

Personal protection equipment has a CE certification (Conformité Européenne). With this CE certification the manufacturer or importer shows that their protection equipment meets the minimum requirements.

What are the most important changes?

This new PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 includes the revisions that were applied in the last few years to other guidelines.  The guidelines will be changed to a regulation.

  • Manufacturers, importers and distributors are given a larger degree of responsibility. For example, a distributor would have to check himself whether there is a CE certification and record which PPE is sold to whom.
  • The rules concerning the CE certification are reviewed every five years.
  • Various risks are classified again, from category II to category III.
  • Specific procedures will apply to customised or modified PPEs.

Responsibility in the chain

The new regulation deals with procedures that have to be followed before a PPE can be introduced to the market. This has consequence for the entire supply chain: manufacturers, importers and distributors. They will need to meet new obligations. This is expected to increase the relevant knowledge amongst sellers and to make it easier for governments in EU member states to monitor the market.


For more information, please contact our product specialist André Pelgrim.