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Marine Equipment Directive

The Directive Explained
The Marine Equipment Directive 96/98/EC (MED) as amended by Directive 98/85/EC first came into force on 1 January 1999 and covers certain equipment carried on ships registered under the flags of the European Union Member States. It was established to ensure that equipment which must comply with the requirements of international conventions (e.g. SOLAS) agreed by the International Maritime Organisation also meets common standards of safety and performance across the EU. Approval requirements are also harmonised which which ensures certificates issued in one Member State are accepted by all States across the EU. The Directive applies to all 'Community Registered Ships' and is mandatory from January 1,2001. Prior to this date, equipment listed in Annex 1 of the MED which has been type approved by a Member State in compliance with International Conventions may be still placed on EU ships.

A listing of the Equipment covered is provided in the Annexes of the Directive.

This includes:

  •     Life saving appliances
  •     Marine Pollution Prevention
  •     Fire Protection
  •     Navigation Equipment
  •     Radio Communication Equipment

Proving Compliance
Annex A.1 of the Marine Equipment Directive lists the required modules, type examination and attestation requirements for each product.

Warrington Fire Research has been Notified to perform Modules B,D,E and F in accordance with the list of equipment, all relating to Fire Protection, given in Table 1, approved by the UK's Marine and Coast Guard Agency.

The Manufacturer has the option to select (except for primary deck coverings) between the following combinations of modules: B+D, B+E or B+F. For Fire Protection equipment, no one module is allowed in isolation.

Module B
This is the EC Type Examination (formally Type Approval) and is the procedure by which the Notified Body ascertains and attests that a specimen of the product, representative of the envisaged production, meets the relevant provisions of the MED. The Notified Body either tests or witnesses tests and certifies (via a Type Examination Certificate) that the specimen complies with the criteria given in the Fire Test Procedures Code (IMO MSC 61 (67)).

Module D
This module relates to production quality assurance and is linked therefore to ISO 9002 certification. The manufacturer must operate to an approved quality system which itself is subject to periodic surveillance. The quality system must apply to the production process, final product inspection and to quality control testing.

Module E
The manufacturer must operate an approved quality system which is derived from ISO 9003 and relates to final product inspection, testing and must be subject to surveillance.

Module F
This module is used when the manufacturer of the Fire Protection equipment does not operate a standardised quality assurance procedure. The Notified Body must conduct appropriate inspections and examinations in order to certify the conformity of the product according to a statistical procedure.

(Annex B of the Marine Equipment Directive provides more detailed information on the requirements of each module.)

The Wheel Mark
The mark which is affixed to products in compliance with the Marine Equipment Directive consists of a ships wheel together with the identification number of the Notified Body which carries out the production surveillance together with the last 2 digits of the year of manufacture.

Mark of Conformity (Wheel Mark)