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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Cableways mainly consist of funicular railways, cable cars, gondolas, chairlifts, and drag lifts. They are designed, manufactured, put into service, and operated with the objective of carrying people safely.

Importance of the cableways sector in the EU

The international cableways industry is dominated by EU companies, which account for 90% of the industry worldwide. EU companies have a strong presence in the United States of America and in Asia. Obstacles to new operators entering the market include:

  • the specialised nature of the cableways building business
  • the importance of investments in research
  • strict safety requirements
  • the particular difficulty of operating cableways in the mountains.

The weight of groups in the exploitation and management of cableway installations and ski domains is growing. As the western European market is mature (work involves mainly replacing and upgrading existing cableways) manufacturers and operators are focusing on emerging markets in newer EU countries and Asia.

EU legislation and cableways

The purpose of the EU legislation of cableways is to allow for the free movement of safety components and subsystems of cableway installations in the EU internal market while maintaining a uniform and high level of safety.

Safety is of prime importance and has to be guaranteed in all operating conditions. Although cableway installations may be used for urban transport, they are mainly operated in connection with tourism, particularly in mountain areas, which is an important factor for the balance of trade between EU countries.

New Cableways Regulation (EU) 2016/424

Regulation (EU) 2016/424 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on cableway installations became applicable as of 21 April 2018, replacing Directive 2000/9/EC.

This Regulation is aligned with the New Legislative Framework policy. In addition, it provides legal clarity about the scope and thus a better implementation of the relevant legal provisions with respect to the previous Directive. It also aligns the conformity assessment procedures available for subsystems with those already used for safety components.

A Corrigendum to Regulation (EU) 2016/424 on cableway installations has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) L 266 of 30 September 2016. It rectifies the content of Annex II, point 4.1.2, on page 31.

More information


  • GROW-CABLEWAYSatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (GROW-CABLEWAYS[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)


Unregulated certificates warning

Unregulated certificates, which are often called ‘voluntary certificates’ besides other names, are often issued for some products covered by EU harmonisation legislation by certification bodies not acting in their capacity as notified bodies under EU law. These practices are misleading since only notified bodies may issue certificates of compliance for harmonised products and only in the area for which they are notified. For example, if a body is notified to issue certificates for machinery, it should not issue certificates (voluntary or other) for non-machinery products (such as personal protective equipment – masks).

Please note that, under EU law, voluntary or other additional certificates are not a recognised means to prove compliance. Consequently, they have no value in the case of checks by market surveillance authorities or customs. However, an exception arises in instances where voluntary certification is outlined in specific legislation. In such cases, while the certificate is not obligatory, it must adhere to explicit requirements if chosen to be acquired.

Voluntary certificates can create the impression that the product conforms with applicable EU harmonisation legislation, although such certificates are not issued by an authorised body.

Voluntary certificates must not be confused with third-party conformity assessment certification by notified bodies within the area for of competence for which they are notified, due to the use of terms such as ‘certification’ or ‘independent third party’ or the presence of the CE marking on the certificate.

CE marking can only be affixed after testing the product and performing the conformity assessment procedure prescribed by the applicable EU harmonisation legislation. It is not acceptable for voluntary certificates to bear a CE marking.


  • GROW-CABLEWAYSatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (GROW-CABLEWAYS[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)