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Personal protective equipment

Protective clothing

Protective clothing is considered personal protective equipment and is therefore subject to CE marking legislation (Regulation (EC) 765/2008). Only PPE that meets the legal requirements and bears the CE marking may be placed on the EU market.

The PPE Regulation EU 2016/425 entered into force on 21 April 2016. This Regulation replaces the Directive 89/686/EC. A transitional period of two years will apply to all Member States so that as of 21 April 2018 this Regulation should be directly applicable in all Member States. As a result, the current European Directive 89/686/EC and all Member State legislation for PPE will lapse.

Only as of April 23, 2023, it will no longer be permitted to sell PPE that are still permitted on the basis of the 'old' PPE Directive. What the final transition date is for a specific product depends on the category and the expiry date (or lack thereof) of the EC type-examination certificate.


The Regulation applies to all PPE with the following exceptions:

  • those specially designed for use by the armed forces or for maintaining law and order;
  • those designed for use in self-defence, with the exception of those designed for sports activities;
  • those designed for private use for protection against:
    • weather conditions which are not extreme in nature;
    • moisture and water during washing up;
  • those designed for exclusive use on seagoing vessels or aircraft covered by the relevant international conventions applicable in the Member States;
  • Personal protective equipment for head, face or eye protection for users, covered by Regulation No 22 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on uniform prescriptions concerning the approval of protective helmets and visors for riders of motorcycles and mopeds.

Download here the full text of the PPE Regulation EU 2016/425_EN.

Download here the full text in the German language.


Technical construction file

The core of the type-examination certification of personal protective equipment is the technical construction file. This file contains a detailed documentation of manufacturer and product and is a mandatory part of the conformity assessment. Also for category I articles, where the intervention of a Notified Body is not necessary, the manufacturer is obliged to compile the technical construction file.