#Rides Maintenance
28590 dated 15.03.2016
Published by
Enrico Fabbri
Enrico Fabbri
The application of standard EN-13814 in order countries: the specific case of Dubai.
by Enrico Fabbri
Several non-European countries should evaluate integrating standard EN-13814:2004 into their own legislation in order to determine the minimum requirements for new rides in their amusement parks. Publication of the new ISO-17842 standard makes such integration even more important.

Starting in 2006, all European Union member states adopted standard EN-13814, individually establishing the certification procedures for both new rides and those already operating in the country at the moment the new standard came into force. Some countries also established certification procedures for attractions that operate temporarily in the country during special events. The system applied by the majority of countries is based on the concept that any ride already operating at the time of application of the new standard was subject to approval “by maturity”, in other words, it was considered that if the ride’s structure had not shown defects after several years of operation, it could be assumed to be in good enough condition to continue operating. Even if fortuitous, this system allowed many operators to keep working, while applying the new regulations gradually.

Other non-European countries (Israel, for example) applied quite similar concepts to those used in Europe. Dubai (United Arab Emirates), on the contrary, chose a different path when it decided to apply standard EN-13814 some years ago, entrusting the DAC (Dubai Accreditation Center) responsibility for endorsing inspectors who could check certification of the rides. Unfortunately, these new laws in Dubai were not flexible enough and did not take into account the reality of the local leisure industry, with the consequence that market in Dubai now seems to be in a stalemate.

The standards establish that the inspector who certifies an attraction must have specific experience in the sector (such a requirement does not exist in other countries). The result is that several years went by before companies were able to certify the rides.

The same standards moreover did not envisage the possibility to approve existing rides “by maturity”, with the result that most of the existing major rides could not be used in Dubai. They also establish that a transportable ride must be inspected by the certification organisation whenever it is dismantled and reinstalled, even if this takes place more than once in the same year.

In addition, no special temporary certification was envisaged for attractions operating in the country during special events. All these unsolved difficulties have created serious damage for ride operators, who have seen their margins slashed due to the exponential increase in technical costs. In the meantime, the other Gulf states have delayed application of standard EN-13814.

In conclusion, I feel it is worth stressing that the many other countries that need to apply EN-13814 or ISO-17814 should do so with due prudence, adapting flexibility both in the certification organisation identification process and in the approval procedure for existing rides

Written by Mr. Enrico Fabbri enrico@fabbrirides.com
Article originally published in Games Industry (Italy) magazine
Original date: March 2016

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