Lifts provide an essential means of comfortable and safe access to modern buildings. The provision of lifts in new buildings and the installation of lifts in many existing buildings have an increasingly important role to play in an ageing society giving growing priority to the social integration of people with special needs.

The Lifts Directive 95/16/EC has the double aim of permitting the free circulation of lifts and its safety components within the internal EU market and ensuring a high level of safety for lift users and maintenance staff.

While the harmonised European legislation governing the design, manufacturer and installation of lifts is mainly addressed to lift installers and components manufacturers, it also has important implications for the owners and users of lifts.