During December 2014 a very important ruling was delivered by the Regional Administrative Court of Bologna (Italy) concerning elevators with reduced vertical safety space.
With this judgment, the Court ordered to put out of service two compared to the size established by the harmonised standard UNI EN 81-1, a ban which was previously ordered during a periodical check by the USL (local health) in Bologna in November 2012.
This putting out of service had been motivated by the USL with the absence of specific authorisation by the competent authority, which in Italy is the Ministry of Economic Development, in accordance with point 2.2 of annex I of the DPR 162/99 implementing Lifts Directive 95/16/EC, which is compulsory to be obtained prior to installation.
The Court thus stated unequivocally that it is essential to obtain the prior consent by the competent authority designated by the Member State to install a facility that is not equipped with a permanent security space as defined by the harmonised standard.
It is possible that this legal precedent shall be used in similar cases and shown to the European Authorities, wherever competent (on the behaviour of the involved companies and notified bodies), in case the next appeal of the involved companies should be rejected by the Courts.