The European Union’s (EU’s) Low Voltage Directive ensures that electrical equipment within certain voltage limits includes protections against electric shock and other electrical hazards.

The Directive covers all electrical equipment operating with electrical input or output voltages between 50 and 1000 V for alternating current, and voltages between 75 and 1500 V for direct current. For electrical equipment that falls within those limits, the Low Voltage Directive addresses all applicable health and safety risks, thereby ensuring that such equipment is safe for its intended use.

Like most other EU directives, the Low Voltage Directive sets out broad objectives for electrical safety (“essential requirements”), with detailed technical specifications set out in published technical standards that are incorporated by reference. Manufacturers whose products are tested for compliance with the essential requirements of the Directive and the technical specifications detailed in relevant standards issue a Declaration of Conformity as documentary evidence of compliance and can apply the CE Mark to their products.

Certain categories of electrical equipment, such as medical devices, are excluded from the scope of the Low Voltage Directive, as are electrical components used in finished products.

A new edition of the Low Voltage Directive (2014/35/EU) was published in 2014, and will be mandatory for electrical products beginning in April 2016. TÜV NORD can already issue test reports according to the new regulation 2014/35/EU.