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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Gas appliances sector

The gas appliances sector plays an important role in the EU economy and is estimated to employ around half a million people. Recent studies have shown that the current EU stock of gas appliances is 470 million and growing, with more than 30 million units being sold annually.

The sector, regulated by Regulation (EU) 2016/426 on appliances burning gaseous fuels (GAR) (which has replaced Directive 2009/142/EC as from 21 April 2018), covers a wide range of products, from simple portable cookers to boilers for big buildings, concerning mainly common consumer and commercial appliances that burn gaseous fuels.

The GAR contributes considerably to the smooth functioning of the single market by ensuring the free movement of appliances burning gaseous fuels, through harmonisation of the conditions for the placing on the market and/or putting into service of products covered with regard to gas safety and rational use of energy.

Challenges faced by the sector

There is a strong demand amongst the sector's stakeholders for ensuring consistency of the legal provisions which are commonly used in EU product harmonisation legislation to better define the obligations of economic operators and to reinforce market surveillance to protect business against unfair competition.

As response to this need, the 'New legislative framework' for marketing of products was designed to help the internal market for goods work better and to strengthen and modernize the conditions for placing a wide range of industrial products on the EU market.

Moreover, the gas appliances manufacturing industry emphasises the need for a stable, predictable, coherent and simpler/smarter regulatory environment.

What the Commission is doing

The European Commission promotes the global and sustainable competitiveness of the gas appliances sector by assessing the challenges and taking necessary action.

The Commission coordinates and monitors the implementation and interpretation of the Gas Appliances Regulation, as well as managing the sector's standardisation work.

Contact points

Links to other Commission websites

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.