The Expert Group on Outdoor Noise Directive 2000/14/EC met on 17 February 2022 to consider a proposal to amend Annex III of this directive, dealing with the test methods to measure the noise power for each family of machines covered.

This was a good opportunity for CEMA to introduce the reference to EN 13525 on woodchippers. So far, gardening shredders and forestry woodchippers have been covered under the naming ‘Shredders/chippers’, with operating conditions common to both families.

Among the other important modifications brought to this annex, the reference to the general noise standards has been limited to the one using an engineering method: ISO 3744 “Determination of sound power levels and sound energy levels of noise sources using sound pressure – Engineering methods for an essentially free field over a reflecting plane”. If the aim is to avoid a higher uncertainty in the testing results, the consequence could impact the equipment used to carry out the measurements.

The timeline for the work is the following:

  • a second draft will be discussed in the working group on 11 May 2022
  • a final draft is expected by 30 June 2022
  • a collection of public feedback will follow

The final proposal from the Commission is expected by the beginning of next year.

The second step of the work will be a full revision of the directive. Among the possibilities, a noise limitation could be introduced for new families of machinery. This is a point which needs to be carefully monitored, since designs according to the new version of EN 13525, published in 2020, may result in an increased value compared to the previous version of the standard.

Another potential issue is related to the calculation of the uncertainty. This calculation is not fully described, and generally is assessed through the variations related to a product, i.e. repeatability uncertainty – uncertainty related to the measurements done on the same product at the same place – and production uncertainty – uncertainty related to the measurements done on different products of the same family at the same place. Some experts would like to include reproducibility uncertainty – uncertainty related to the measurements done on the same product at different places – in the calculation, which would increase the value of the uncertainty. In the case of a noise limitation, this has a direct impact on the measured value.

The full revision is planned to start in 2023.