SPV Directive

The Simple Pressure Vessels Directive (SPVD) 2014/29/EU

SPV Directive


SPVD is one of the 'New Approach' Directives that set out 'essential requirements' (for safety, for example), written in general terms, which must be met before products are placed on the market in the UK or elsewhere in the EC. European standards fill in the detail and are the main way for businesses to meet the 'essential requirements'. The Directives also say how manufacturers are to show that products meet the 'essential requirements'.
Products meeting the requirements are to carry CE marking, which should mean that they can be supplied anywhere in the EC, provided they are safe.

Summary of directive

It lays down uniform rules on the placing on the market and putting into service of simple pressure vessels.

It applies to vessels manufactured in series, such as any welded vessel subjected to an internal gauge pressure greater than 0.5 bar, which is intended to contain air or nitrogen and which is not intended to be fired, as well as to the parts and assemblies contributing to the strength of the vessel under pressure made of certain qualities of steel or aluminium.

It does not apply to: (i) vessels specifically designed for nuclear use; (ii) vessels installed on ships and aircraft; and (iii) fire extinguishers.

Key points

The directive defines the responsibilities of manufacturers, importers and distributors of simple pressure vessels.

• Most of the simple pressure vessels within the scope of the directive must bear the CE conformity marking to show that they meet all the essential safety requirements of EU legislation.
• The manufacturer must conduct a conformity assessment and establish detailed technical documentation for its vessels.
• Importers must check whether manufacturers have carried out conformity assessments correctly and inform the authority monitoring the safety if they consider that the vessel does not conform to the essential safety requirements.
• All necessary documentation must be recorded and kept for 10 years.
• Instructions and safety information must be written in a language easily understood by end-users.
• Manufacturers and importers must indicate their name, registered trade name or registered trade mark and the postal address at which they can be contacted on their vessels.
• The directive specifies what national market surveillance authorities must do to identify non-compliant products and prevent the placing on the market or putting into service of such products on the EU market.

Scope

The SPVD applies to simple pressure vessels manufactured in a series, with the following characteristics:

• The vessels are welded, intended to be subjected to an internal gauge pressure greater than 0,5 bar and to contain air or nitrogen, and are not intended to be fired;
• The parts and assemblies contributing to the strength of the vessel under pressure are made either of non-alloy quality steel or of non-alloy aluminium or non-age hardening aluminium alloys;
• The vessel is made of either of the following elements:
(i) A cylindrical part of circular cross-section closed by outwardly dished and/or flat ends which revolve around the same axis as the cylindrical part;
(ii) Two dished ends revolving around the same axis;
• The maximum working pressure of the vessel does not exceed 30 bar and the product of that pressure and the capacity of the vessel (PS × V) does not exceed 10,000 bar.L;
• The minimum working temperature is no lower than – 50 °C and the maximum working temperature is not higher than 300 °C for steel and 100 °C for aluminium or aluminium alloy vessels

Additionally, vessels consist either:

• Of a cylindrical component with circular cross-section, closed at each end, each end either outwardly dished or flat and also co-axial with the cylindrical component; or
• Of two co-axial outwardly dished ends

This Directive shall not apply to:

• Vessels specifically designed for nuclear use, failure of which may cause an emission of radioactivity;
• Vessels specifically intended for installation in or the propulsion of ships and aircraft
• Fire extinguishers.

Requirements

There are different requirements according to the category of vessel. Category A vessels must undergo a conformity assessment and overseen by a notified body to demonstrate compliance with the essential safety requirements of Annex II of the Directive, and Category B vessels (of a lower capacity and pressure and therefore a lower risk than Category A) must be designed and manufactured in accordance with sound engineering practice (Internal production control) Annex I of the Directive

Category A vessels are simple pressure vessels with a stored energy of over 50 bar litres. Category B vessels are simple pressure vessels with a stored energy of 50 bar litres or less.

Obligations of manufacturers

The obligations of manufacturers of simple pressure vessels include:

• Before placing a Category A vessel on the market, a manufacturer must ensure that it has been designed and manufactured in accordance with the essential safety requirements. These are set out in Annex II to the Directive. They must also have had have a relevant conformity assessment procedure carried out and technical documentation drawn up.
• Before placing a Category B vessel on the market, a manufacturer must ensure that the vessel has been designed and manufactured in accordance with sound engineering practice.
• When supplying a Category A vessels, the manufacturer must draw up a declaration of conformity, ensure that declaration accompanies the product and affix the CE marking to the vessel.
• For Category B vessels, the manufacturer must affix the inscriptions (that is, the maximum working pressure and temperature, the minimum working temperature and the capacity of the vessel). As detailed in Annex III (1.2)
• Manufacturers must keep the declaration of conformity up to date and must keep it and the technical documentation for 10 years.
• Manufacturers must also label vessels with the type and serial or batch identification, the manufacturer’s name, registered trade name or registered trade mark and address; and ensure that they are accompanied by instructions and safety information inn a language easily understood by end-users. If the vessel is placed on the market in the UK, the language must be English.
• They must, when appropriate with regard to any risk posed to consumers, carry out sample testing of vessels and investigate any complaints that the vessels are not in conformity and keep records of these complaints.
• They must take action where they have reason to believe that the vessels are not in conformity with the Regulations.
• They must also cooperate with and provide information to enforcing authorities following any requests.

Obligations of authorised representatives

Manufacturers are able to appoint authorised representatives to perform certain tasks on their behalves. The obligations of authorised representatives include:

An authorised representative must comply with all the duties imposed on the manufacturer, these may be storing the technical file and declaration of conformity within the EU or UK for the manufacturer

Obligations of importers

The obligations of importers include:

• Before placing a Category A vessel on the market an importer must ensure that it is in conformity Annex II of the Directive. This means that the vessel must comply with the essential safety requirements set out in Annex I and that each economic operator has complied or is complying with their obligations under Annex II of the Directive.
• Annex II of the Directive For Category A vessels, the importer must ensure that the relevant conformity assessment has been carried out by the manufacturer; the manufacturer has drawn up technical documentation; the safety components is CE marked and is accompanied by the Declaration of Conformity.
• For Category B vessels, the importer must ensure the vessel has been designed and manufactured in accordance with sound engineering practice and that each economic operator has complied with their obligations under the directive
• The importer must keep a copy of the Declaration of Conformity and technical documentation for a period of 10 years after the vessel has been placed on the market
• The importer must provide their name trade, registered trade name and a postal address at which they can be contacted on the simple pressure vessels or in documentation accompanying the vessel.
• The importer must ensure that when placing simple pressure vessels on the market, an importer must ensure that it is accompanied by instructions and safety information which can be easily understood by end user in the Member State where it is to be made available. If the end user is in the UK, the language must be English.
• The importer must ensure that Category A vessels under their responsibility are safely stored and transported.
• The importer must, when appropriate with regard to any risk posed to consumers, carry out sample testing of vessels and investigate complaints about simple pressure vessels that are not in conformity with the Regulations and keep a register of those complaints.
• The importer must take action where they have reason to believe that the simple pressure vessels that they have placed on the market are not in conformity with the Regulations.
• They must also cooperate with and provide information to enforcing authorities following any requests.

Obligations of distributors

The obligations of distributors include:

• Before making a simple pressure vessel available on the market a distributor takes due care to ensure that it is in conformity with Annex II of the Directive
• Before making a Category A vessel available on the market a distributor must ensure that it bears the CE marking and for all vessels subject to the Directives the distributor must ensure that the vessel bears the inscriptions, that it is accompanied by instructions and safety information, that the manufacturer has complied with the requirements as to labelling and the importer has complied with the requirements as to identification.
• The distributor must ensure that the Category A vessels under their responsibility are safely stored and transported.
• The distributor must take action where they have reason to believe that the simple pressure vessels that they have made available on the market are not in conformity with the Regulations.
• They must also cooperate with and provide information to enforcing authorities following any requests.

HOW WE CAN HELP:

The CE Marking Authority has over 40 years experience with regulatory requirements and can assist manufacturers, importers, and users of simple pressure vessels and their components by offering a range of services to meet your needs. Here are some of the services on offer:

• Consultancy to understand your route to conformity and applicable requirement
• Conduct risk assessment to ensure all risks are ALARP ensuring the controls with the product are safe
• Perform assessment reports detailing assessments to harmonised European standards
• Technical file review
• Consultancy advice on related Directives (Machinery, LVD, EMC & RoHS)