FEM - European Materials Handling Federation

What is FEM?

FEM has represented European manufacturers of materials handling, lifting and storage equipment since it was founded in 1953. FEM is a non-profit trade association (AISBL under Belgian law) permanently based in Brussels to better represent its members and their interests vis-à-vis the European institutions and European partners.

FEM membership currently consists of 13 National Committees from Member States of the EU, as well as Switzerland and Turkey. They are the driving forces in promoting a common vision for FEM industries and in maintaining the European materials handling, lifting and storage industry’s position as leader on the world market. The European industry has an annual turnover of around 45 billion euros. In total, FEM represents more than 1,000 companies with about 160,000 employees, covering around 80% of all eligible European companies. It thus accounts for more than half of the world's total production.


FEM membership is open to the national organisations of European countries representing manufacturers of materials handling equipment or their association. European sector organisations representing manufacturers of specific materials handling equipment can also become ordinary members of FEM.

European and non-European sector organisations are eligible for associate membership if they represent manufacturers of specific materials or services which are complementary to material handling equipment.

FEM also counts European companies of materials handling equipment as “individual” members who are already members of National Committees.

The FEM Product Groups are the working bodies of FEM. They cover the wide range of products manufactured by the sector. The product groups draft and publish technical documents, follow marketing trends and serve as industry meeting points. Active FEM Product Groups today are:

  • Conveyors for Bulk Handling
  • Cranes & Lifting Equipment
  • Elevating Equipment
  • Industrial trucks
  • Intralogistic Systems
  • Mobile Elevating Work Platforms
  • Racking & Shelving 

The Board of FEM, composed of industry executives, formulates the FEM vision and policy, and represents the European industry at trade fairs and government level worldwide. The Board also supervises the activities of the Executive Committee and the General Secretariat. It works under the chairmanship of an elected President.

The General Assembly is the supreme governing body of FEM deciding on its objectives and general policy. The President is also chairman of the FEM General Assembly. In even years, the FEM General Assembly is held in conjunction with the biennial FEM Congress. As the FEM Product Groups also hold their plenary meetings at the FEM Congress, this event has become a focal point for industry executives with an attendance of more than 200 people.

The FEM Executive Committee meets on a regular basis to discuss technical and legislative issues in the product groups and national committees. The Executive Committee also discusses industry positions relating to European legislation. Association executives from the national committees and the product groups attend the Executive Committee meetings. There is always an elected chairman of the Executive Committee.

The FEM General Secretariat is based in Brussels (Belgium) since 1977. The General Secretariat manages day-to-day business, prepares meetings, and coordinates communication and relations with the European institutions. Its permanent location at the centre of the European scene also facilitates FEM networking with other industrial sectors and stakeholders. 

The FEM National Committee delegates and Product Groups also meet in thematic task forces and working groups to discuss matters directly affecting their industries, prepare positions on proposed European legislation and give guidance to manufacturers on existing European legislation. FEM national committees also have an important role in these task forces in identifying and addressing issues relating to EU legislation when it is transposed and implemented in the national law of the EU Member States.

Visit www.fem-eur.com for more information