The objective of the Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU (LVD) is to guarantee that electrical equipment in the EU market does not endanger the health and safety of persons and domestic animals, or property, when properly installed and maintained and used in applications for which it was made. The directive is applied to all risks caused by the use of electrical equipment. The Directive presents the essential safety goals that all electrical equipment must meet in order to be placed in the EU market. In accordance with the EU’s harmonisation legislation, the directive also ensures the free movement of compliant electrical equipment.
The LVD Directive uses the ‘new approach’, defining only the essential requirements. Compliance with these requirements can be attested by following harmonised standards.
The directive describes a procedure (module A) that a manufacturer or the manufacturer’s representative established within the Union can ensure and declare that electrical equipment placed in the market is in compliance with the requirements of the Directive (internal production control). The procedure includes the preparation of the technical documentation and the EU Declaration of Conformity, and the measures necessary in order that the manufacturing process ensures that the manufactured electrical equipment satisfy the requirements of the Directive.
The use of a third party in ensuring compliance is not mandatory. Before the electrical equipment is placed in the market, the CE marking must be affixed to it. The most common way of showing that electrical equipment is compliant with the Low Voltage Directive is to test the product or have it tested in accordance with the applicable harmonised European standards. The directive assumes that a standards-compliant product satisfied the essential safety requirements of the directive. It is not, however, mandatory to apply standards; compliance with the directive’s safety requirements can also be proven, for example, through various attestation procedures and risk assessments.