Legal and Regulatory

CECIMO promises to “cushion impact on additive manufacturing” in EU talks

CECIMO, the association representing the interests of machine tool and manufacturing technologies, has released a new statement concerning additive manufacturing’s position in upcoming discussions by the European Commission.

Having given a formal statement in March 2019, CECIMO has reiterated its commitment to keeping additive manufacturing at the center of decisions relating to product liability, intellectual property (IP) rights, and the U.S.-EU trade deal.

“Before the end of the year,” the association states, “additive manufacturing will be at the centerstage at the European level.”

The Commission is due to publish a new study and guidelines that will rekindle debates surrounding quality standards and the difference between Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) relations.  In such debates, the association reiterates, “CECIMO will address policymakers to avoid burdening the sector with unnecessary regulation.”

Despite looming geopolitical troubles, e.g. the British exit from the European Union, and the United States-China trade war, CECIMO also maintains that “there are many foreign opportunities for the machine tool industry to thrive.”

Image from What is Additive Manufacturing? via cecimo.eu
Image from What is Additive Manufacturing? via cecimo.eu

Standards, qualification and training for additive manufacturing

CECIMO membership comprises 15 related associations, each representing a country in Europe. This includes, for example, Germany’s VDW, and the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) in the UK. In collaboration with its members, and through internal market intelligence, CECIMO provides, among other things, guidance for manufacturing industry policymakers.

In the association’s most recent update, CECIMO comments on the recent public consultation on the Machinery Directive. Opened June 7 2019, and closed August 30 2019, CECIMO states that the opportunity “was important for the AM industry as it gave us the opportunity to voice the need for harmonized standards.” In the consultation, the association proposed the development for a type-c safety standard for additive manufacturing machines, aligning it with other industrial machinery like hydraulic presses and thermoforming machines.

Second, the association stressed the pressure it has put on European legislators to make developing a widely-accepted qualification and training system a priority. In particular, Sector Skills Strategy in Additive Manufacturing, or SAM for short, was highlighted for its European cooperation.

Map of CECIMO nations. Image via CECIMO
Map of CECIMO nations. Image via CECIMO

Additive manufacturing in international trade 

In relation to international trade deals, additive manufacturing has become an area of priority in the U.S.-EU agreement on industrial goods. Finalization of of these terms are expected by the end of the year, as Stewart Lane, Chairman of CECIMO Additive Manufacturing Committee, remarks “the debate on the AM sector is still very active and the EU policymakers need to layout a supportive and flexible set of rules if they wish to keep the leadership of the AM sector in Europe.”

The Von der Leyen Commission, which will be in office from November 1 2019 though 2024 and operate without nomination from the UK, is also supported by CECIMO.

In another recent update Marcus Burton, Chairman of CECIMO’s Economic Committee, added “CECIMO supports the political guidelines of the Von der Leyen Commission, as they pursue comprehensive trade strategies for the neighbouring regions of the EU, a new EU-US trade partnership, and, above all, a reform of the WTO trade protection mechanisms and rules.”

Though Brexit negotionations continue to form a strong narrative for discussions at the European Commission, CECIMO has also offered comment on conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, and the current Iran conflict. “In this context,” the association states, “CECIMO is willing to cooperate to ensure transparent trade relations with these and other countries, and it urges the European Union to use effective instruments that do not seriously hinder European machine tool builders’ position abroad.”

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Featured image shows EU flags outside European Parliament. Photo by Walerian Walawski/SublimeStar.com

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