AUWP for European Standardisation 2018

In September 2017, ANEC issued a position paper on the Annual Union Work Programme for European Standardisation 2018 with our views on general aspects of consumer relevance, as well as on the actions to be implemented in 2018. We focus especially on actions in support of the Digital Single Market Strategy, deeper and fairer Internal Market, Inclusiveness, and the Joint Initiative on Standardisation (JIS).



An end to access denied?

For all too long, ANEC has been pressing for regulatory action, underpinned by standards, to increase the access of consumers of all ages and abilities to everyday products and services. We welcomed the support of the European Parliament (EP), in its vote on 14 September, for the European Accessibility Act. We are pleased MEPs listened to disability organisations and ANEC, and supported several improvements, such as the need to include access to the built environment. Nevertheless, we regret a blanket exemption to microenterprises that has been granted. We shall now press the Council to support an ambitious European Accessibility Act which delivers for consumers and business alike.

Making ICT standards fit for 'active and healthy ageing'

A workshop on making ICT standards fit for ‘active and healthy ageing’ will take place on 19 October 2017 at the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre in Brussels.

The Telehealth Quality Group is part of the EC funded PROGRESSIVE project that is working on standards related to ICT and ‘Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA).’ This includes attention to smart homes; telecare and telehealth; the age-friendly design of products and services; and issues around interoperability. An interactive platform, which will give access to a range of relevant standards, is being developed and will be launched at the event.

PROGRESSIVE, which is supported by ANEC, aims to ensure that standards confront ageism and engage with and empower older consumers in meaningful ways - whether relating to the workplace, travel, education, or health. The main objective of the workshop is to promote a debate about the issues and appraise the direction of the project.

Places are limited and online registration necessary. For more information, please contact Fernando Machicado of UNE, the Spanish national standards body: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vacancy for a consumer expert in 'Ergonomics'

ANEC is seeking an expert willing to represent ANEC in the work of CEN/TC 122 & ISO TC 159 'Ergonomics'. Please see the vacancy note for information about.

If you think you could contribute, please send an up-to-date CV and letter of motivation (in English) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The deadline for applications is 15 October 2017.

Accessibility of lifts - ANEC appeal in CEN

prEN 81-70 ‘Safety rules for the construction and installation of lifts. Particular applications for passenger and goods passenger lifts. Accessibility to lifts for persons including persons with disability’ was submitted to CEN Enquiry in summer 2016.

ANEC supported the draft but sent comments. In general, we thought a good compromise had been found between consumer (users with visual impairments in particular) and industry needs. Unfortunately, a substantial change to the contrast requirements for symbols on push buttons was introduced after the public comment phase. Hence, as we reported earlier, ANEC did not support the launch of Formal Vote on adoption of the standard as we do not agree with the change of contrast requirement. We believe a Light Reflectance Value (LRV) of 60 is needed for signage/symbols on push buttons, compared with the 30 proposed. The lower value does not meet the needs of people with visual impairment, and does not correspond to the state-of-the-art as several countries have higher requirements.

Notwithstanding our objection, and a ‘Not Favourable’ Opinion on FprEN 81-70, the standard was adopted by CEN. We have therefore appealed against ratification of the standard and it cannot be published until the appeal is resolved. The appeal will be heard in October, and we trust a solution can be found that will enable all consumers to have confidence in the value of standardisation.



Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) - many of which are carcinogens - has long been an issue of concern. REACH restricts PAHs in toys and childcare articles. However, the exposure of children to PAHs via materials in children’s articles, such as clothing and toys, remains of great concern.

A recent test by the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals found all the 13 children’s rubber boots tested contained PAHs. The authorities have been notified about one pair of rubber boots that contained short-chained chlorinated paraffins, which are suspected to be endocrine disrupting and carcinogenic, above the permitted Danish limit. Several boots were also found to contain a problematic PAH called naphthalene, a suspected carcinogen. The issue does not only lie in the substance being in the rubber boot alone: as phthalates can be absorbed through the skin, the combined exposure to chemicals from many different sources can lead to increased risk. More information can be found via The Danish Consumer Council THINK.

Meanwhile, the Committee on Standards is to vote on the adoption of an EC Implementing Decision on a standardisation request (ex-mandate) regarding compliance with maximum content criteria of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in rubber and plastic. ANEC contributed to the drafting of the request. It asks for development of harmonised standard(s) that enable the analytical determination of the individual concentrations of eight carcinogenic PAHs listed in REACH.


Child Safety

Standard for toy finger-paints

In February, ANEC expressed disagreement and sent a ‘Not Favourable’ Opinion concerning the Enquiry on EN 71-7/prA1 ‘Safety of toys – Part 7: Finger paints – Requirements and test methods’. We asked for the deletion of several chemical substances used in finger paints, in line with the Cosmetics Regulation. Several CEN members and the European Commission (EC) added voice to our concerns. We were pleased to see these concerns addressed in the post-Enquiry consideration by CEN/TC 52 and hence submitted a ‘Favourable’ Opinion during the Formal Vote in July. EN 71-7 was adopted, and made available on 27 September.


Digital Society

SATORI Project - Final Conference

The SATORI project is a 45-month project on ethics assessment of research and innovation (R&I) supported by the EC through its FP7 funding scheme. SATORI comprises 16 partners from 12 countries and is co-ordinated by the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

The SATORI project final conference “Ethics Assessment of Research and Innovation: Looking to the Future” was held on 18-19 September in Brussels.

Chiara Giovannini, ANEC Senior Manager & Deputy Secretary-General, joined the conference as member of the Advisory Board. The conference discussed ethical issues in R&I frameworks and standards, methods for enhancing ethics assessment in R&I, and ways to support the activities of research ethics committees.

The final deliverables of the project (CEN Workshop Agreements) are available here.


Domestic Appliances

Domestic spas and hot tubs

In August, ANEC submitted comments and ‘Not-favourable’ Opinion on the Enquiry of prEN 17125 “Domestic spas and hot tubs - Safety requirements and test methods", prepared by CEN/TC 402, as the draft fails to address the key safety issue adequately, which is to prevent children from drowning. We are aware of deaths by drowning associated with these products.  Although noting the role of adult supervision, ANEC believes a safety cover to be an essential part of a factory-built spa and there should be a requirement in the standard for its provision and safety-related performance.

Moreover, advice provided at the point-of-sale should emphasise the need for, and use of, a safety cover for spas not provided with them by the manufacturer.

ANEC discusses “white goods” fires

The ANEC Domestic Appliances Working Group (WG) met in Prague on 20-21 September.

Among other items, the WG discussed the recent fires in the UK, caused by refrigerators and other electrical household appliances, which led to a high number of fatalities. We have been looking for accident data from other countries to see whether fires there have similar causes but the lack of an-EU accident data system has proved again that it is very difficult to draw conclusions from the data available.

The British Electrotechnical Committee has proposed that CENELEC revises EN 60335-2-24: 2010/prA2:2017 ‘Household and similar electrical appliances – Safety – Part 2-24: Particular requirements for refrigerating appliances, ice-cream appliances and ice-makers’. ANEC supports this proposal. Furthermore, we will continue to collaborate on this issue with our UK members, as well as the Electrical Safety First charity and London Fire Brigade. Meanwhile, useful information for consumers is available on the websites of ‘Which?, Electrical Safety First, and the London Fire Brigade.



The role of marking in material efficiency

In June, CEN-CENELEC/TC 10/WG 6 ‘Energy-related products - Material Efficiency Aspects for Ecodesign’ met to discuss ideas on establishing information levels and markings regarding material efficiency. It is important to note that information consists not only of marking but also includes documentation. ANEC is active in this area as unbiased information and proper documentation plays a key role for consumers. The approach presently discussed focuses on ‘Information and/or marking’ which would mean not all products necessarily having particular marking. However, ANEC stressed that proper material efficiency marking should be available on the products and aimed at consumers.

In terms of information, three main levels were identified: confidential, restricted and public. The documents and information to be provided under a certain level should be decided by the manufacturer (as owner of the information) and regulation. ANEC insists that manuals should not be considered restricted information as they are needed by skilled technology enthusiasts.



New studies related to the Sharing Economy

Over the summer, case studies of 10 peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms were released as annexes to the recent EC DG Justice Exploratory Study of consumer issues in peer-to-peer platform markets. The case studies are found at: Annex 4.1 AirBnB; Annex 4.2 BlaBlaCar; Annex 4.3 easyCarClub; Annex 4.4 eBay; Annex 4.5 Nimber; Annex 4.6 Peerby; Annex 4.7 Uber; Annex 4.8 Wallapop; Annex 4.9 Wimdu; Annex 4.10 Yoopies.

The study highlights that, although consumer rights apply to the service the platforms offer to peers, rules tend not to be tailored to P2P transactions online, and do not facilitate easy access to redress. Uncertainty as to whether some providers (AirBnB, Uber) act as a private person or as a business creates equal confusion about whether consumer rights apply. Other platforms exclude (BlaBlaCar, easyCarClub) or identify (eBay, Wimdu)professional or business providers.

Ahead of assessing the possible role of standards in supporting legislation on transparency and fairness in the Sharing Economy, ANEC has nominated an expert to ISO/COPOLCO TG 5 ‘Sharing economy’. The main scope of its work will be to identify consumer challenges and priorities, as well as the methodologies used in different countries to address these. The conclusions of the work should support future standardisation activities.



Keeping hazards in the circle?

As part of the Circular Economy Action Plan, the EC committed to analyse the interfaces among chemicals, products and waste legislation and recommend policy options by the end of 2017. In this context, ANEC contributed to a targeted consultation with a new position paper entitled ‘Keeping hazards in the circle?’.

We believe that, for a circular economy approach to be effective, there needs to be a stronger focus on reuse and reduction in the consumption of materials and creation of waste. Recycling must be part of a greater concept of resource saving that leads to high quality products that do not expose the consumer or the environment to detrimental effects. Part of this includes ensuring that hazardous substances are eliminated from the beginning of the product cycle.

ANEC recommends that legal provisions for chemicals in virgin materials be strengthened by implementing sectoral product legislation. Also, specific provisions should be developed to facilitate recycling aimed at reducing the variety of materials, including their chemical composition, to make them "fit for recycling". However, present European regulatory provisions for chemicals in products do not go far enough. The development of a European regulatory framework for chemicals in products needs to occur urgently. An area which needs further regulation is on the presence of substances of concern in recycled materials. ANEC recommends that substances that are present in recovered materials should not be treated differently from substances contained in virgin materials.

Developing further regulation and frameworks is made difficult by a lack of information about substances of concern in products and waste. Therefore, regulatory measures and sectoral product legislation that contain information provisions need to be significantly strengthened. Part of this is the elimination of SVHCs and other substances of concern from materials and products, as well as the enhancement of substance specific restrictions. It is also necessary to improve end-of-waste criteria including chemical provisions (restrictions as well as monitoring obligations).

A real commitment to reduce material and energy flows and to develop a strategy to address chemicals in consumer products is crucial to achieve a non-toxic environment for Europe.


Traffic & Mobility

Market Surveillance of Tyres (MSTYR15)

The PROSAFE-coordinated action, Market Surveillance for Tyres, is advancing and the second newsletter was published in August to highlight what has been achieved so far.

The first laboratory test results for tyres are available to market surveillance authorities, who are deciding how to act in cases where non-compliance was detected.    

In parallel, the participants have started to review the technical documentation of tyres while continuing the label inspections. For more, please see the second MSTyr15 newsletter and the MSTyr15 website for updates.




List of comments 2017 List of meetings 2017


For comments or if you wish to write an article for the ANEC Newsletter, please contact: Kristina Aleksandrova (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).