Safer roads & safer workers: Council and Parliament strike provisional deal on the non-road mobile machinery regulation

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Today the Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional deal on the regulation on the approval and market surveillance of non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) circulating on public roads. The amended legislation creates harmonised road safety requirements for the circulation of self-propelled machinery (e.g. lawn mowers, harvesters or bulldozers) that needs to circulate on public roads and which, up to now, has been regulated by the member states. The regulation will replace the existing national regulatory regimes and will reduce costs, administrative burdens and delays for businesses.

The provisional agreement reached today between the two co-legislators frames the scope of the regulation in some important elements such as the types of mobile machinery concerned, the cases in which member states can limit the circulation of certain machineries, or the production threshold that exempts producers from asking for EU type-approval.

Safer roads, protected workers

While many technical aspects of non-road mobile machinery are harmonised at EU level, the safety requirements for their circulation on public roads are regulated by national rules only. This results in market fragmentation, additional costs, and administrative burdens for the sector.

The proposed regulation simplifies the procedures for all actors. Manufacturers and distributors of non-road mobile machinery will only have to request road approval once, in one EU country, for the machinery to be accepted for road use in all EU countries. Users (e.g. rental companies) will benefit from a reduction in the compliance costs, and it will be easier for them to use and re-sell machinery across intra-EU borders. Drivers, in turn, will benefit from harmonised rules that ensure a high level of road safety across the EU.

The regulation proposes a simplified one-step procedure that takes into account the specific characteristics of non-road mobile machinery (i.e. the fact that they are not normally on roads). It also establishes more effective market surveillance: it provides for clear procedures, including safeguard measures against non-compliant machinery, that are aligned with those used in the wider EU legislative framework on products.

Main elements of the agreement

The agreement reached today creates a new category of vehicles (category U) for non-road mobile machinery, which will be added to the existing categories of vehicles (i.e. L for mopeds and motorbikes, M for passenger cars, and N for vans). The text also clarifies the different variants and types that will come under this new category, depending on criteria such as essential construction and design characteristics.

The provisional agreement reached today allows the authorities of the member states to limit the circulation of fully automated non-road mobile machinery (i.e. machinery which has no driver and is operated remotely). The authorities can also limit the circulation of machines when the excessive dimensions of a machine hamper manoeuvrability. Furthermore, member states can restrict circulation when the mass of the machine, the load of each of its axles, or the pressure on the surface can damage the roads they circulate on or other infrastructure such as bridges or viaducts.

To align the text with the regulation on the approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles, the agreement gives member states the power to act if the type-approval granted to that machine does not comply with this regulation. In those cases, national approval authorities can refuse to recognise the approval of a non-road machinery.

Producers of non-road machinery will be exempted from asking for an EU type-approval (and may limit approval to approval under national legislation) when they produce small series (the number of units per type does not exceed 70 per year and in each Member State).

Next steps

The provisional agreement reached with the European Parliament now needs to be endorsed and formally adopted by both institutions.


The Commission (Commissioner Thierry Breton) presented the proposal for a regulation on 30 March 2023. This legislative text completes the EU legal framework for non-road mobile machinery, which up to now included certain harmonised rules, such as directive 2006/42/EC on safety as regards the design and construction of machinery, directive 2014/30/EU on electromagnetic compatibility, and regulation (EU) 2016/1628 on pollutant limits.

A 2019 study indicated that laying down uniform requirements at EU level could help the sector save between 18% and 22% in compliance costs. It is expected that over a period of 10 years, this proposal could generate up to €846 million in savings for all stakeholders. Since the administrative cost is estimated at 4% of the total, the overall administrative saving is calculated at €3.38 million per year.

EU production of non-road mobile machinery is estimated at a value of €12.5 billion per year. The sector is a significant producer and strong exporter of non-road mobile machinery globally. Out of the annual production value, 42% is exported to non-EU countries and 54% is traded within the EU, while only 4% is sold in the EU country where production takes place.