Commercialising simple pressure vessels: new regulations

From 20 April 2016 all manufacturers of simple pressure vessels must comply with the regulations contained in the latest Royal Decree. According to the European Commission, compliance with this legislation should be less expensive for SMEs. The Royal Decree is a transposition of a European directive.

The new rules apply to simple pressure vessels that are new to the European market when you initially introduce them, or when you import them either new or second-hand from a country outside the EU.

When can pressure vessels be described as simple?

  • These are welded vessels designed to have an internal over-pressure of more than 0.5 bar.
  • The vessels are for holding either air or nitrogen and are of an unfired design. 
  • The pressure-bearing components are manufactured from non-alloyed, quality steel or non-alloyed aluminium.
  • The pressure vessels consist of a cylindrical component with vaulted and/or flat bases.
  • The maximum working pressure does not exceed 30 bar and (PS x V) does not exceed 10,000 bar.
  • The working temperature is between -50°C and 300°C for steel pressure vessels (100°C for aluminium).

What kind of innovation does the Royal Decree have up its sleeve?

  • Clearer accountability for all manufacturers, importers and distributors who deal in such products (e.g. with respect to the conformity markings, labelling and traceability of the products).
  • More guarantees regarding consumer safety by way of traceability systems that make it easier to trace right back to the source of defective or unsafe products.
  • Improved supervision of the ‘notified bodies’ who are registered.


Do you have further questions or would you like more information?  
Please contact our standards specialist Benjamin Vandeputte, at