The law is changing regarding the manufacture of motorcycle safety clothing and this has caused some confusion within the motorcycle media as to how this will affect customers, or what can be offered for sale. The Motorcycle Industry Association would like to therefore assure customers that new legislation is mostly for manufacturers and does not apply to retail stock, so will have no effect on what can be bought or sold for some time to come.
The new legislation applies to manufacturers who make garments with some expectation of providing protection. Under old rules, there are many products on the market which include parts with a CE mark, for example a jacket with removable armour. Under new rules the whole garment will need to be tested to CE standards, not just the armour. This ruling came into force April of this year (2018) and manufacturers have until April 2019 to make sure existing lines meet the new standards. New lines introduced from now on will also need to meet the whole garment testing regime to receive a CE-mark. But this will not affect what is currently for sale.
Under EU law, ‘transitional provisions’ come into effect while the change between the old and new regulations are phased in. We are in the transition period now, which is common practice within EU law as new products are introduced into the supply chain. For the most part, these have little impact on customers and are for the benefit of manufacturers.
Customers will not notice an immediate difference since any products the manufacturer has already sold can continue to be sold and bought by importers, distributors, wholesalers and dealers as well as bought and used by customers. In practice, this means that a customer is likely to see both CE-marked motorcycle jackets and non-CE-marked clothing for some time yet, with both legitimately on sale.
Helmets are currently the only compulsory wear for riders, however the Industry recommendation would be that all riders ensure they are properly protected at all times.