Why does standardisation need civil society?

With standards playing a key role to protect consumers, workers and the environment, the participation of civil society becomes fundamental to their development. Add to this the ability standards have in supporting the implementation of laws and policies, including in areas of public interest, and there is no question about the need to involve civil society, and ANEC as the European representative of the consumer interest, in the European Standardisation System.

See the new CEN-CENELEC brochure ‘Civil Society: Improving, Strengthening and Legitimising the European Standardisation System’.

 

BSI hosts CEN-CENELEC Annual Meetings

The Annual Meetings of CEN and CENELEC were held on 20-21 June 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland, hosted by the British Standards Institution (BSI). The CEN and CENELEC Annual Reports 2016 were published in conjunction with the meetings and are available on the CEN-CENELEC website. BSI also hosted the complementary event, ‘Standards Matter’, on 22 June, focusing on the role of standards the digital world. ANEC Senior Manager, Chiara Giovannini, participated in panel discussions that confirmed the importance of standards in ensuring consumer privacy and security-by-design. A key conclusion of the discussion was the need to develop standards on cybersecurity.

 

Revision of CEN-CENELEC Guide 25 published

In July, CEN-CENLEC published the second edition of CEN-CENELEC Guide 25 ‘The concept of Partnership with European Organisations and other stakeholders’.

The revision includes the specific rights given by CEN-CENELEC to the Societal Partner Organisations representing consumers (ANEC), environmental (ECOS) and social interests (ETUC) in European standardisation activities, in line with Regulation (EU) 1025/2012 on European standardisation.

 

European Parliament Resolution, ‘Standards for the 21st Century’

On 4 July, the European Parliament (EP) plenary adopted a Resolution endorsing the Report, ‘European standards for the 21st century’. The Report had been adopted on 30 May by the Internal Market & Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee in response to the European Commission’s ‘Standardisation Package II’ of 1 June 2016. The Rapporteur was Marlene Mizzi MEP. ANEC believes the 85 recommendations of the Report to represent a fair compromise of the different stakeholder interests. A central recommendation is for the EC to ensure it maintains sufficient resources to fulfil the objectives of Regulation (EU) 1025/2012 on European standardisation, in order to contribute to both business competitiveness and consumer protection.

 

ANEC achieves further work on child-appealing products

Further to continued pressure from ANEC, CENELEC TC 61 WG8 ‘Child-appealing electrical appliances’ re-started its activities with a meeting in April 2017. The meeting addressed the possible revision of a clause and associated Note in EN 60335-1 ‘Household and similar electrical appliances. Safety. General requirements’ concerning child-appealing electrical appliances. ANEC appreciates that the meeting appeared to accept that the term “toy-like appliance” is inappropriate, and that the current clause is not useful in ensuring that appliances which appeal to children and might be hazardous are not approved under the standard. ANEC believes a child’s interaction with an appliance to be more important than the deliberate use of an appliance, especially in the case of very young children who have no concept of danger. A new version of clause 22.44 to EN 60335-1 has been prepared on which ANEC commented in July. The new clause will be supported by a rationale, drafted by ANEC, to outline issues of children’s exploratory behaviour, as well as the concepts of “child-appealingness” and danger.

 

Formal objection against EN for grills and toasters

Further to the Formal Objection from Germany and Norway against EN 60335-2-9 due to excessive temperature limits for grills and toasters, the EC is proceeding with adoption of a draft Implementing Decision and its publication in the OJEU. CENELEC TC 61 WG1 has also created a task force that will establish temperature limits in accordance with CENELEC Guides 29 and 32. ANEC will participate in the first meeting of this task force on 23 August. Following an ANEC intervention at the Low Voltage Directive Working Party meeting in April, the TC 61 Chair has confirmed that the Formal Objection could lead TC 61 to review ALL the relevant standards. This is what ANEC has sought for many years and could represent a big step forward for consumer protection.

 

EP rejects the cross-border parcel delivery proposal

On 11 July, the EP Committee for Transport and Tourism (TRAN) rejected the draft Report by Lucy Anderson MEP on cross-border parcel delivery. Through its paper on the proposal for a Regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services, ANEC contributed to the EP draft report in May, highlighting consumer issues that the proposed regulation could have helped tackle.

The European Commission will now be asked to withdraw the proposal. If it does, the procedure will be closed. If the EC does not withdraw the proposal, the EP could reconsider the draft.

We find the TRAN vote a missed opportunity for increasing consumer trust in cross-border parcel delivery services and creating a level-playing field for all operators. Indeed, we saw a chance to provide some beneficial requirements for affordability, information provision and accessibility, supported by European standards. We hope the proposal will be reconsidered so improvements to the transparency and affordability of the cross-border parcel delivery market do not have to wait until a revision of the Postal Services Directive.


An official UN World Consumer Protection Week?

An agreement of national consumer protection ministries and agencies has been reached on a proposal for the United Nations to observe World Consumer Protection Week officially. The proposal calls for the week to be held annually in the week in which 15 March falls. The proposal will now be passed to the UN General Assembly later this year for a final decision. For more information, please visit the website of our colleagues in Consumers International.

 

News from ANEC Members

Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals examines sunscreens

The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals has examined the contents of 47 sunscreens. Its tests focused on ingredients that can be allergenic or could be endocrine disrupting. 14 of the creams tested proved free from unwanted chemicals. For more, visit the THINK Chemicals website. The website also includes tests on allergenic preservatives in dishwashing soap; fluorinated substances in impregnation sprays; chemicals in laundry detergents; and phthalates in plastic products, among others.

 

List of comments 2017

List of meetings 2017

 

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