Fitness Product Regulations in the European Union: An Overview

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Fitness Products Regulations in the EU

Planning to import and sell gym equipment and other fitness products in the European Union? In this guide, we cover the essentials of safety standards, labeling, lab testing, and other requirements when selling fitness products in the EU.

Mentioned product

  • Yoga Mat
  • Treadmill
  • Leg press machine
  • Indoor cycle
  • Rowing machine

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General Product Safety Directive (GPSD)

The GPSD aims at ensuring that products imported or sold in the EU, are safe and proper functioning for the consumers. The GPSD establishes health and safety requirements for many consumer products including fitness equipment.

GPSD is mainly based on voluntary national standards and codes of good practice regarding health and safety. However, for fitness equipment, it is essential to take into account the aspect of safety as they could pose potential dangers and harm to the users.

Failure to comply with the GPSD could result in a heavy fine or prosecution. Therefore, importers shall meet the requirements of the harmonized standards EN 957.

EN Standards 957

The EN Standards 957 specifies the safety requirements and test methods for stationary training equipment.

Here an overview of the standards for general safety requirements, additional safety requirements, and test methods:

1. EN 957-1 – General safety requirements and test methods;

2. EN 957-2 – Strength training equipment;

3. EN 957-3 – Strength training devices in club sports facilities and studios

4. EN 957-4 – Strength training benches;

5. EN 957-5 – Pedal crank training equipment;

6. EN 957-6 – Treadmills;

7. EN 957-7 – Rowing machines;

8. EN 957-8 – Steppers, stair climbers and climbers;

9. EN 957-9 – Elliptical trainers;

10. EN 957-10 – Stationary bikes without a freewheel mechanism.

Notice: The list above is not exhaustive and more standards might apply to fitness equipment.

GPSD Documentation

Importers shall self issue a risk assessment for their fitness products. The risk assessment shall include information such as:

  • Potential hazards identification
  • Potential harm
  • Severity of harm
  • Probability of harm
  • Risk level
  • Action to the risk

GPSD Testing

GPSD testing is often not mandatory for fitness products. However, it is common that importers book third party GPSD testing to ensure product safety.

CE Marking

The GPSD does not require CE marking as it is not a CE directive. However, if your fitness products fall into the scope of one of 25 CE directives, you need to get the fitness products CE marked.

Machinery Directive

The Machinery Directive applies to certain types of fitness products that utilize effort other than human to apply forces and control movement to perform an intended action, such as a treadmill. This directive provides safety requirements when using the machine.

Here are some general provision for fitness products:

1. In case of a failure of the power supply, the parameters of the machinery must not change in an uncontrolled way.

2. Control devices must be able to prevent and stop when a part of the machinery has been stopped, any drift away from the stopping position.

3. The fixing systems must remain attached to the guards or to the machinery when the guards are removed.

4. For cable-less control, an automatic stop must be activated when correct control signals are not received, including loss of communication.

Electrical Fitness Equipment and Gym Machines

Treadmills and other electronic fitness equipment, including AC adapter, must comply with electrical safety and EMC regulations. Here are a few examples:

  • Low Voltage Directive (LVD)
  • EMC Directive
  • RoHS Directive
  • Radio Equipment Directive*

Note that compliance with EU regulations cannot be taken for granted when importing fitness equipment manufactured overseas. Importers must either obtain test reports from the supplier, valid for the same SKU they intend to import or send a product sample for this-party lab testing.

*Applicable to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled gym machines and other fitness equipment.

CE mark

CE Mark

The Machinery directive is a part of CE directives, therefore, most fitness products must be affixed with CE marking, and comply with other CE marking requirements.

Declaration of Conformity (DoC)

Importers must provide a DoC supported by relevant certifications and test reports. Here is an overview of the DoC content:

  • Company name
  • Company address
  • Product name
  • Production date
  • List of relevant harmonized standards (e.g EN 957-6)
  • Details of signatory

Technical documentation

The technical file is also required to prove that the products were designed according to applicable standards and requirements. The technical file is similar to product specification which shall include all relevant design, material, labels, and other files. Here is an overview of the technical file content:

  • Bill of materials (e.g. List of all components in your treadmill machinery)
  • Design drawings
  • Label files
  • Packaging files
  • List of applied standards and directives (e.g. RoHS)
  • Test reports
  • QC reports
  • Risk assessment

Note: Importers shall also attach all relevant test reports correspond to the EN standards or directive stated on the DoC.

REACH

REACH regulates all imported products including fitness products shipped into the European Union. REACH sets limits to certain hazardous substances in fitness products such as metal coating. Importing fitness products with above-limited substances is illegal in the European market.

Here are a few examples of regulated substances that can be found in fitness equipment:

  • Lead
  • Cadmium
  • Mercury
  • Nickel

Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC)

Fitness equipment might contain a variety of metals and alloys such as cast iron, stainless steel, and aluminum. EU provides a list of SVHC from importers or manufacturers, to check whether the material of fitness product is compliant with REACH.

Notice: The list of SVHC can be updated at any time, and more substances might be added to the list.

Lab testing

Generally speaking, importers do need to keep track of the list of SVHC. Instead, importers can get help from REACH testing companies such as SGS, TUV, and Intertek. They provide comprehensive testing services for REACH compliance including conformity assessment, lab testing, and certification.

We suggest that you should book the lab testing before the production, and instruct your supplier with REACH compliance at an early stage.

Testing companies

Here are some companies offering REACH compliance testing:

  • TUV
  • Bureau Veritas
  • QIMA
  • C&K Testing
  • Intertek

You can find more details about REACH testing companies in this guide.

Costs

In general, the REACH lab test cost starts from around $200, and it will be increased depends on the number of testing materials. We recommend that you should get a free quotation from testing companies to get an accurate quote for your products.

Learn more

Learn more about REACH lab testing in this guide.

Risks

Some materials, coatings, paints and print inks used when manufacturing fitness products may contain excessive amounts of restricted chemicals and heavy metals. It’s therefore important to instruct your supplier to only use REACH compliant materials when manufacturing your product.

Directive 94/62/EC: Packaging Regulations

When importing fitness products to the European Union, importers also need to comply with the packaging compliance requirements under Directive 94/62/EC. Here is an overview of the packaging requirements:

Heavy Metals Restrictions

Heavy metals (e.g. Hg, Pb, Cr6+, Cd) are regulated under the directive 94/62/EC. Importers need to ensure only to use compliant packaging material for their fitness products.

Packaging material verification requires certain specialists and equipment, therefore, we suggest that you shall book packaging tests from testing companies instead.

Additional Packaging Information

1. Packaging design shall be beneficial for collection, reuse, and material recycling.

2. Labeling requirements (e.g. CE mark shall be also included in the packaging).

  • (USA & EU)

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    Disclaimer: The content on this website is provided for general information only. The content includes summaries written by our team members based on publicly available information about product safety standards, labeling, documentation, testing, processes, and other product compliance related topics. However, we don’t guarantee that we cover every single relevant regulation/standard/requirement, or that the information is free from errors, or covering every single scenario and exemption. We do make mistakes from time to time. We never provide legal advice of any sort.

    Changes/Updates: Product standards and substance restrictions are subject to frequent updates and changes. In addition, new regulations, standards, and/or requirements may also become effective at any time. We don’t update our articles whenever new standards/regulations/rules are added or changed. We recommend that you consult a lab testing company or other professional to get the latest information about mandatory standards/regulations in your market, country, or state. Lab testing companies generally stay up to date on new and updated standards and regulations.

    National/State-Level Standards/Regulations: Many articles don't cover all European national and US state standards, regulations, and requirements. We recommend that you consult a testing company or other professional to confirm all relevant (and current) national/state level standards and regulations.
  • 10 Responses to “Fitness Product Regulations in the European Union: An Overview

    1. Simonas at 6:50 pm

      Hi,
      great article Vincent!

      the same question as Victoria had – do spinning bikes need CE? If it is not electrical.

      So far it seems that basically for fitness equipment the following requirements are a must:
      EN957 for the frame and CE for the console separately.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 3:49 pm

        Hi Simonas,

        What console are you referring to?

        1. Simonas at 4:09 am

          LCD, LED display ones.

          What about those spinning bikes? do spinning bikes need CE? If it is not electrical.

          1. Simonas at 4:10 am

            Thank you for a prompt reply! :)

          2. Fredrik Gronkvist at 10:58 am

            Hi Simonas,

            Not that I am aware of but I would need to do research before I can say anything with certainty. CE is mandatory for the displays though.

    2. victoria at 8:20 pm

      thanks for this post. Do spinning bikes need CE certificate?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 10:05 am

        Hi Victoria,

        Is it an electrical spinning bike?

    3. Swimcore at 1:50 pm

      thanks for sharing this post i like your post too much.

    4. Lambros Constantinides at 3:32 am

      Hi a smith machine a bench what requirements need to import in europe

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 6:58 pm

        Hi Lambros,

        Probably the same regulations as mentioned in the article. There may also be EN standards that apply.

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