The European Commission has identified noise as one of the most pressing problems in urban areas across Europe and stressed the need to take action on various sources of noise, as part of its environmental action plan in 1993. The subsequent ‘future noise policy’ sets out steps for the development of a directive to specifically regulate noise created by outdoor equipment.
EU legislation on noise emission by outdoor equipment
The Outdoor Noise Directive 2000/14/EC (OND) regulates the noise emissions into the environment by outdoor equipment.
Some 57 types of equipment are named in the directive. It refers mainly to outdoor machinery, such as those used on construction sites or in parks and gardens.
Latest developments and studies
Almost all of the 57 types of equipment are also within the scope of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and both directives address issues arising from noise emissions. However, the machinery directive focuses on the occupational safety of the operator (amongst other things) and the OND on the overall environmental effects.
In 2013-2014 the Commission explored the case for a merger between the 2 directives but concluded that they should remain separate.
- Study on the merger of the Directive on Noise from Outdoor Equipment, 2000/14/EC, with the Machinery Directive, 2006/42/EC (including an evaluation of Directive 2000/14/EC) (2 MB)
A study was carried out on how the existing limit values for noise might be updated, and also how they might in future be applied to equipment currently not subjected to limits but only to marking. The study began in April 2015 and was completed in February 2016
- Study on the suitability of the current scope and limit values of Directive 2000/14/EC relating to the noise emission in the environment by equipment for use outdoors (ODELIA) - Final report (6 MB)
A supporting study for an evaluation and impact assessment of Directive 2000/14/EC on noise emission by outdoor equipment was carried out between May 2017 and July 2018. The final reports were delivered and completed in October 2018. The results from this study, as well as previously completed studies, will be used as the basis for the upcoming revision process of EU legislation.
- Roadmap: noise emission by outdoor equipment initiative - inception impact assessment
- Public consultation: outdoor noise directive 2000/14/EC - evaluation and possible revision
- Supporting study for an evaluation and impact assessment of Directive 2000/14/EC on noise emission by outdoor equipment
The Commission evaluated the performance of the Outdoor Noise Directive during its operational time. The final reports were published in November 2020.
- Report on the implementation and administration of the Outdoor Noise Directive
- Commission staff working document (SWD) on the evaluation of the Outdoor Noise Directive
- Executive summary of the evaluation of the Outdoor Noise Directive
EC declaration of conformity
Following Directive 2000/14/EC, manufacturers are legally obliged to produce an EC declaration of conformity (DoC) with equipment - which states that the equipment conforms with the provisions of this directive, as well as any other relevant directives.
The European Commission services has developed an electronic form for EC declaration of conformity called ‘NOISE’, which is an online tool for manufacturers, authorised representatives, EU countries and notified bodies to send and manage DoCs.
- Register on our E-services portal and request access to NOISE
- Privacy statement for NOISE application (384 KB)
- Guide to using NOISE application (1.2 MB)
- NOISE database – public output
- List of bodies notified under Directive 2000/14/EC (NANDO information system)
- Recommendation for use (RfU) sheets (1 MB, status in June 2018)
- Market surveillance authorities
- Consolidated minutes of the noise committee working group meetings (962 KB)