The Blue Guide is the popular name for the European Commission’s guidance on implementing legislation. It was first published in 2000 and much of it is still valid. However, a substantial revision to bring it fully up to date with changes to the legislative framework was completed in 2014.
Some new chapters were introduced, for instance to explain the obligations of economic operators, while others, such as those on standardisation, were revised.
The current on-line version is a working document and a meeting was held in Brussels on 19th October where delegates were invited to discuss any fundamental concerns. Among the matters thought to need clarification: whether spare parts are finished parts; what exactly is the difference between placing on the market and putting into service; was the phrase “make available” sufficiently clearly defined; and the precise status of fulfilment houses. Various inconsistencies and translations errors were identified for correction.
The meeting also discussed harmonised standards, conformity assessment, accreditation and market surveillance. A new version of the Guide is expected to be published early in the new year.