The Furniture Industry Research Association

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​Urgent update – Motorised furniture

FIRA can announce that a new guide to the EU machinery directive was issued in July 2017. This will have a major impact on all motorised domestic furniture such as recliner chairs, rise-recliner chairs, electrically adjustable beds, height adjustable desks and electrically actuated kitchen furniture.

The new guide specifically states that ‘electrically operated furniture, such as beds, chairs, tables, storage furniture including kitchen furniture, remain subject to the Machinery Directive as they are not household appliances of the types indicated above.’

This is contrary to the current industry practice that considers that only the electrical components need to comply with the Low Voltage Directive, and that the overall product does not be assessed as a machine.

What does this mean for manufacturers and suppliers? All electrically actuated furniture sold in Europe will now need to be CE marked in accordance with the Machinery Directive, (and the CE mark displayed on the product). A risk assessment must be carried out in accordance with the Machinery Directive and a complete technical file held. This assessment does not, however, need to be carried out by a notified body. In addition a certificate of conformity for a product must be issued by a responsible person.

The revised guide can be viewed here:

It should be noted that electrically adjustable furniture that is classed as a medical device is exempt from the Machinery Directive, as it will already need to comply with the Medical Devices Directive.

The Furniture Industry Research Association is currently working on a guide for manufacturers on the CE marking of electrically actuated domestic furniture, which will be published in the autumn.

For more information contact FIRA on 01438 777700 or email