Pressure Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016

Legislative Background

The Pressure Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016 implemented Directive 2014/68/EU on pressure equipment and assemblies. The EU Withdrawal Act 2018 preserves the

Regulations and enables them to be amended so as to continue to function effectively now the UK has left the EU. Accordingly, the Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment

etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 20192 fix any deficiencies that arose from the UK leaving the

EU (such as references to EU institutions) and make specific provision for the GB market.

There is therefore one set of UK 2016 Regulations, but some of the provisions apply

differently in NI for as long as the Northern Ireland Protocol is in force. References to the

2016 Regulations in this guidance are references to those Regulations as they apply in

Great Britain. For guidance on placing on the Northern Ireland market, please see:


The 2016 Regulations apply to pressure equipment and assemblies with a maximum allowable pressure PS greater than 0.5 bar, although there are a number of exclusions, which are set out in regulation 4 and Schedule 1 to the Regulations. “Pressure equipment” means vessels, piping, safety accessories and pressure accessories. “Assembly” means several pieces of pressure equipment assembled to form an integrated, functional whole.

Product classification

In order to know how the 2016 Regulations apply to specific items of pressure equipment,

the manufacturer will need to know:

a) the type of equipment concerned, i.e. vessel, steam generator or piping

b) the state of the intended fluid contents – gas or liquid and

c) the fluid group of the intended contents – Group 1 or Group 2.

Group 1 comprises those substances and mixtures3:

(i) unstable explosives or explosives of Divisions 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5

(ii) flammable gases, category 1 and 2

(iii) oxidising gases, category 1

(iv) flammable liquids, category 1 and 2

(v) flammable liquids, category 3 where the maximum allowable temperature is above

the flashpoint

(vi) flammable solids, category 1 and 2

(vii) self-reactive substances and mixtures, type A to F

(viii) pyrophoric liquids, category 1

(ix) pyrophoric solids, category 1

(x) substances and mixtures which in contact with water emit flammable gases,

category 1, 2 and 3

(xi) oxidising liquids, category 1, 2 and 3

(xii) oxidising solids, category 1, 2 and 3

(xiii) organic peroxides types A to F

(xiv) acute oral toxicity, category 1 and 2

(xv) acute dermal toxicity, category 1 and 2

(xvi) acute inhalation toxicity, category 1, 2 and 3 and

(xvii) specific target organ toxicity – single exposure, category 1

Assistance with identifying the hazard classes of substances can be found on the Health

and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

Group 1 also comprises substances and mixtures contained in pressure equipment with a

maximum allowable temperature TS which exceeds the flashpoint of the fluid.

Group 2 comprises substances and mixtures not referred to under group 1, within the

definition of a fluid, including steam.

With this information the manufacturer can identify the relevant conformity assessment

table in Schedule 1B to the 2016 Regulations4 and determine the correct classification of

the equipment by plotting the maximum allowable pressure and, in the case of vessels, the

volume in litres or, for piping, the nominal size (DN).

Equipment and assemblies which are below or equal to the limits set out in regulations

6(a)-(c) or 7 of the 2016 Regulations must be designed and manufactured in accordance

with sound engineering practice in order to ensure safe use and must be accompanied by

adequate instructions for use. Unless required by other applicable legislation, this second

category of equipment and assembly must not bear the UKCA mark. This is set out in

regulation 8 of the 2016 Regulations.

In the paragraphs below, unless indicated otherwise, the references to pressure equipment

or assemblies does not include those under the limits referred to in regulation 8.