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EU Marine Equipment Directive

EU Marine Equipment Directive Overview

The European Commission, with the view to harmonize standards for the design, construction and acceptance procedure for the items of equipment referred to in SOLAS and MARPOL, has developed with the help of the industry and the member states, the Marine Equipment Directive (MED).

ABS, through its European Division, has been involved from the outset in the development of the MED as one of the industry members in the working group meetings at the European Commission in Brussels. ABS is also an active member of the MarED group of Notified Bodies. Further information about MarED can be obtained from their website at:

Flow chart for the conformity assessment procedures provided for in Directive 96/98/EC on Marine Equipment

ABS – Recognized as Notified Body

ABS is recognized as a Notified Body (NB) by the UK, MCA for the MED. The ABS NB identification number is 0729.

In accordance with this authorization, ABS can type approve equipment under the MED and issue EC Type-Examination (Module B) and Quality Assurance/Product Verification (Modules D or E/F) or Unit Verification (Module G) certificates to the manufacturer for product approval and authorize the manufacturer to stamp the product with the CE mark of approval (the Ships Steering Wheel) in accordance with Annex B of the MED.

Example for the application of the "Mark of Conformity":
xxxx - Number of the Notified Body responsible for the quality surveillance module.
yy - Last two digits of the year in which the mark was affixed.

ABS can provide assistance in the implementation of the requirements listed in the MED for each specific product to the equipment manufacturers under the MED.


Under the procedures defined in the MED, once an approval has been obtained for the equipment referred to in the Directive by a single Notified Body, this approval will be acceptable in all other member states.

Recognition that the equipment fully complies with the requirements of the MED will be denoted by the Ships Steering Wheel.

Scope of the Marine Equipment Directive

The equipment within the scope of this directive delegated to ABS is life saving and fire fighting equipment referred to in SOLAS and marine pollution equipment contained in MARPOL requiring approvals by the "Administration". The items within the scope of the MED are listed in Annex (A1) and Annex (A2) of the Directive.

The items of equipment in Annex (A1) are those which have established internationally recognized test standards (e.g. IMO Resolutions) and can therefore be tested and approved. For Annex (A2) equipment there are no clearly defined or internationally recognized test standards. Therefore Annex (A2) equipment is subject to approvals in accordance with each of the member state requirements. ABS has authority to Type Approve this equipment on behalf of the UK MCA. It is envisaged that eventually all items of equipment in Annex (A2) will be transferred to Annex (A1) after establishing harmonized standards either through IMO or ISO.

Amendments to the Marine Equipment Directive

The MED has been amended by EC Directives 98/85/EC of 11 November 1998, 2001/53/EC of 10 July 2001, 2002/75/EC of 2 September 2002, 2002/84/EC of 5 November 2002, 2008/67/EC of 30 June 2008 and 2009/26/EC of 6 April 2009.

ABS will type approve products as per EC Directive 96/98/EC as amended and issue EC Type-examination, Quality Assurance, Product Verification and Unit Verification certificates, as applicable. This procedure for approval and issuance of certification is applicable to all Notified Bodies in all member states.

United Kingdom Legislation

The United Kingdom has adopted this Directive into their legislation by issuing a Statutory Instrument Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Regulation, SI 1999 No1957 and M Notices, numbers MSN 1734 and its Amendment 3, and MSN 1735 and its Amendment 3, both dated 19 March 2009 and September 2009, respectively.

Contact Offices

Should you require further information regarding any of the subject matter please contact your local ABS office.

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