The KION Group's material-handling products are machines that have to comply with certain legal requirements in all of the major geographical markets in which the Company operates. These requirements serve to minimise - or eliminate - the risks associated with using the products for drivers, other people, the facilities in which they operate and the environment in the immediate vicinity. They also help maintain the performance of the machines. In the European Union, for example, the products are subject to the machinery directive (2006/42/EC), other technical regulations such as the emissions directives on noise (2000/14/EC) and exhaust gases (2004/26/EC) and the electromagnetic compatibility directive (2004/108/EC) as well as product-specific regulations, for example the directive on products for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (94/9/EC).
As a manufacturer of material-handling products that are governed by these regulations, the Company must ensure that its products comply with the regulations and must verify and certify this compliance in the prescribed manner.
The procedures stipulated by the regulations for the mandatory declaration of conformity vary depending on the product type. For example, the Company uses both self-certification (e.g. declaration of conformity) and third-party certification (e.g. EC type-examination certificate). As a result, when customers receive a product, they always have confirmation – in the form of the CE marking – that the product complies with all applicable European regulations. Many of the aforementioned legal requirements, especially the directives underlying the 'new approach to technical harmonisation and standardisation', are defined in precise terms in product-specific standards and other standards (e.g. EN, ISO and DIN). These standards provide simplified procedures for complying with the defined legal requirements in a verifiable manner, and the Company makes extensive use of them.
As a technology leader, the KION Group endeavours to surpass the minimum standards defined for the products that it makes.
Corresponding regulations and standards apply in other jurisdictions around the world, and the Company's products sold in those markets comply with them as well.
Technical standards, product safety regulations and environmental requirements are constantly being updated by the authorities responsible for them. Examples include the tighter emissions levels permitted for IC trucks and the requirements and limits placed on employers so that they protect their employees against excessive levels of noise and vibration. As a technology leader, the Company is well placed to more than simply fulfil these requirements. In fact, its products' existing technical properties create potential for KION to successfully differentiate itself further from the competition. In addition, the KION Group is an active member of associations such as the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) and its working groups in which it helps to continually enhance standards and regulations. Overall, the KION Group does not expect the changing regulations to have any material negative effects on its business model.
Besides these product-specific rules and regulations, the Company's business activities are subject to the requirements typically placed on companies that have a strong export business (e.g. the relevant export controls) and that work with distribution partners (e.g. EU Block Exemption Regulation). However, these regulations and the corresponding legislation in sales markets do not place any material restrictions on the Company's business activities.