Scope & Definitions

(18 June 2009)

Article 1
Definitions, scope

1.  This Directive shall apply to in vitro diagnostic medical devices and their accessories. For the purposes of this Directive, accessories shall be treated as in vitro diagnostic medical devices in their own right. Both in vitro diagnostic medical devices and accessories shall hereinafter be termed devices.

2.  For the purposes of this Directive, the following definitions shall apply:

(a) ‘medical device’ means any instrument, apparatus, appliance, material or other article, whether used alone or in combination, including the software necessary for its proper application, intended by the manufacturer to be used for human beings for the purpose of:

  • diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, treatment or alleviation of disease,
  • diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, alleviation or compensation for an injury or handicap,
  • investigation, replacement or modification of the anatomy or of a physiological process,
  • control of conception,

and which does not achieve its principal intended action in or on the human body by pharmacological, immunological or metabolic means, but which may be assisted in its function by such means;

(b) in vitro diagnostic medical device’ means any medical device which is a reagent, reagent product, calibrator, control material, kit, instrument, apparatus, equipment, or system, whether used alone or in combination, intended by the manufacturer to be used in vitro for the examination of specimens, including blood and tissue donations, derived from the human body, solely or principally for the purpose of providing information:

  • concerning a physiological or pathological state, or
  • concerning a congenital abnormality, or
  • to determine the safety and compatibility with potential recipients, or
  • to monitor therapeutic measures.

Specimen receptacles are considered to be in vitro diagnostic medical devices. ‘Specimen receptacles’ are those devices, whether vacuum-type or not, specifically intended by their manufacturers for the primary containment and preservation of specimens derived from the human body for the purpose of in vitro diagnostic examination.

Products for general laboratory use are not in vitro diagnostic medical devices unless such products, in view of their characteristics, are specifically intended by their manufacturer to be used for in vitro diagnostic examination;

(c) ‘accessory’ means an article which, whilst not being an in vitro diagnostic medical device, is intended specifically by its manufacturer to be used together with a device to enable that device to be used in accordance with its intended purpose.

For the purposes of this definition, invasive sampling devices or those which are directly applied to the human body for the purpose of obtaining a specimen within the meaning of Directive 93/42/EEC shall not be considered to be accessories to in vitro diagnostic medical devices;

(d)    ‘device for self-testing’ means any device intended by the manufacturer to be able to be used by lay persons in a home environment;

(e)    ‘device for performance evaluation’ means any device intended by the manufacturer to be subject to one or more performance evaluation studies in laboratories for medical analyses or in other appropriate environments outside his own premises;

(f)     ‘manufacturer’ means the natural or legal person with responsibility for the design, manufacture, packaging and labelling of a device before it is placed on the market under his own name, regardless of whether these operations are carried out by that person himself or on his behalf by a third party.

The obligations of this Directive to be met by manufacturers also apply to the natural or legal person who assembles, packages, processes, fully refurbishes and/or labels one or more ready-made products and/or assigns to them their intended purpose as devices with a view to their being placed on the market under his own name. This subparagraph does not apply to the person who, while not a manufacturer within the meaning of the first subparagraph, assembles or adapts devicesalready on the market to their intended purpose for an individual patient;

(g)    ‘authorised representative’ means any natural or legal person established in the Community who, explicitly designated by the manufacturer, acts and may be addressed by authorities and bodies in the Community instead of the manufacturer with regard to the latter’s obligations under this Directive;

(h) ‘intended purpose’ means the use for which the device is intended according to the data supplied by the manufacturer on the labelling, in the instructions for use and/or in promotional materials;

(i)  ‘placing on the market’ means the first making available in return for payment or free of charge of a device other than a device intended for performance evaluation with a view to distribution and/or use on the Community market, regardless of whether it is new or fully refurbished;

(j) ‘putting into service’ means the stage at which a device has been made available to the final user as being ready for use on the Community market for the first time for its intended purpose.

3.  For the purposes of this Directive, calibration and control materials refer to any substance, material or article intended by their manufacturer either to establish measurement relationships or to verify the performance characteristics of a device in conjunction with the intended use of that device.

4.  For the purposes of this Directive, the removal, collection and use of tissues, cells and substances of human origin shall be governed, in relation to ethics, by the principles laid down in the Convention of the Council of Europe for the protection of human rights and dignity of the human being with regard to the application of biology and medicine and by any Member States regulations on this matter.

5.  This Directive shall not apply to devices manufactured and used only within the same health institution and on the premises of their manufacture or used on premises in the immediate vicinity without having been transferred to another legal entity. This does not affect the right of Member State to subject such activities to appropriate protection requirements.

6.  This Directive shall not affect national laws which provide for the supply of devices by a medical prescription.

7.  This Directive is a specific directive within the meaning of Article 2(2) of Directive 89/336/EEC, which shall cease to apply to devices which have complied with this Directive.