Update From Europe

30 June 2016

BCAS outlines some recent European technical, normative and legislation developments in compressors, vacuum pumps, pneumatic tools and allied equipment through Pneurop and Orgalime.


Pneurop is the European Association of manufacturers of compressors, vacuum pumps, pneumatic tools and allied equipment. Its members are national associations, of which BCAS is one, who between them represent more than 200 manufacturers in eight EU member states, plus Switzerland and Turkey. 

The association speaks on behalf of its members in European and International forums about the harmonisation of technical, normative and legislative developments.

Pneurop in turn is a member of Orgalime, which is the European federation that represents the interests of the European mechanical, electrical, electronic and metal articles industries.

The main recent changes as far as manufacturers, distributors and end users of compressed air are concerned relate to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive and the Outside Noise Directive (OND).

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

Recent updates from Orgalime concern the release of two studies in March, by the EC, about the implementation of article 7 and article 16 of the WEEE Directive (2012/19/EU). This directive was first introduced in 2007 and governs how manufacturers and retailers in European countries behave in regards to recycling.

Article 7 is about WEEE collection rates and article 16 sets measures on the registration of EEE producers at national level, the information to be provided by producers to national registers and Member States’ reporting to the EC.

The study on article 7 does not recommend setting EU level mandatory individual collection targets for one or more categories of WEEE, but recommends that Member States should be free to set individual targets on a voluntary basis.  

The document also highlights that most Member States face very real challenges in meeting the collection targets and, in some cases, they may not be able to meet them at all. It concludes that it is impossible to recommend additional derogations or revisions to the collection target. Instead it strongly supports more detailed analysis on national WEEE flows and improving their tracking and registration.

The second study about article 16 reveals significant differences in national practices for the implementation of registration and reporting process and frequency of reporting of EEE producers to the national registers.

It recommends introducing a harmonised data structure and format and the creation of an EU-wide EEE categorisation system and corresponding codification system. It also suggests setting a common frequency and period of reporting of EEE producers to the national register. 

The Orgalime WEEE Task Force will continue to review these two studies and possible reactions from industry.

Outside Noise Directive (OND)

Proposed changes to the Outside Noise Directive (2000/14/EC) (OND) are still under review.  

It has been determined that the current noise test standards will be removed from the directive and as a consequence a 'new home' has to be found for these test codes. Current proposals include adding them to EN ISO 2151, the noise test code for compressors and vacuum pumps, and possibly 

EN ISO 15744, the noise measurement code for hand-held non-electric power tools. This will ensure that the correct test codes and methodologies remain relevant and available.  

A further study has recently been completed by ODELIA, a consortium dealing with the suitability of the current limit values relating to the noise emissions in the environment by equipment for use outdoors.  

Pneurop is currently canvassing feedback from the industry and trade associations following this report’s issue and is particularly focussed on any perceived negative impact as a result of the proposed lower noise limits.

All comments and feedback received will be formulated into a report for further consideration and we will keep you updated accordingly.  

BCAS is actively involved in representing its members interests in Europe through its membership of Pneurop.  To find out more visit the BCAS website at