Directive 89/686/EEC - personal protective equipment

of 21 December 1989 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to personal protective equipment.

Directive 89/686/EEC is repealed with effect from 21 April 2018 by Regulation (EU) 2016/425.


The aim of the Directive is to ensure the free movement of personal protective equipment (PPE) within the Community market by completely harmonizing the essential safety requirements to which it must conform.

The Directives defines "essential requirements" which PPE must satisfy at the time of manufacture and before it is placed on the market: the general requirements applicable to all PPE; the additional requirements specific to certain types of PPE; and also the additional requirements specific to particular risks.

The Directive details both Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) for PPE and the conformity assessment procedures, which for products protecting against more serious risk may require the intervention of a so-called 'Notified Body". Notified Bodies are institutes appointed by the Member States and which are to be at the service of the manufacturer wherever the Directive requests for third party intervention (EC type examination, approval and monitoring of quality assurance systems).

The CE marking in this field was introduced by Directive 93/68/EC. Furthermore, Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 sets out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products.

Read the full text of the consolidated version of the Directive (including later amendments)

Read the full text of the original Directive (without amendments)

National laws implementing this Directive

Further information on this topic

See also information of the European Commission - Enterprise and Industry

Commission communication in the framework of the implementation of the Council Directive 89/686/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to personal protective equipment - Publication of titles and references of harmonised standards