Lead story

ANEC looks to help solve deadlock on surface temperatures

As reported previously (https://tinyurl.com/fxsc3aaz), ANEC commissioned a Technical Study to measure temperature limits of appliances within the scope of IEC 60335-2-9 ‘Household and similar electrical appliances - Safety - Part 2-9: Particular requirements for grills, toasters and similar portable cooking appliances’ in order to contribute to continuing discussions in CENELEC and IEC.


At European level, there are ongoing concerns expressed by certain Member States that the surface temperature limits in the standard are too high while, at the IEC level, there have been challenges raised by stakeholders on the blanket use of a “doubling temperature relaxation” (known as “note b” among standards developers).

As a follow-up to the Technical Study (https://tinyurl.com/maz73xnd), we hosted a face-to-face workshop for stakeholders in Brussels on 20 September to discuss its results with manufacturers, authorities and the EC in order to find a solution on how to set safe surface temperature limits for toasters, grills and similar. CEN-CENELEC kindly offered meeting room facilities. The samples used in the Technical Study were on display, giving attendees the opportunity to make their own examination of the products and accompanying infrared (IR) images.

Following very constructive exchanges during the day, ANEC will now make further measurements to increase the value of the IR images by adding approximate dimensions to them.

We trust our initiative will contribute to finding a solution to the present discussions.


World Standards Day 2023

World Standards Day is celebrated on 14 October, paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who develop international, regional (such as European) and national standards. See: (https://tinyurl.com/mwt93jsy).

As always, ANEC joined the global campaign raising awareness on this year’s topic “Shared vision for a better world: incorporating UN SDG 3”. To mark the occasion, we launched a social media campaign on 13 October and 16 October 2023 with focus on “The role of standards in ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages”.

Our key messages highlighted our work in the development of EN 17398:2020 ‘Patient involvement in health care. Minimum requirements for person-centred care’ (https://tinyurl.com/3xps53xs); prEN 17500 ‘Quality of care and support for older persons’ (https://tinyurl.com/5xskau7r) and CEN/TS 17470:2020 ‘Service model for social care alarms’ (https://tinyurl.com/4h6ecaa5); including our work on vulnerable consumers (https://tinyurl.com/yt45ecz8); and children’s health and safety (https://tinyurl.com/3defr3xf).

Additionally, we teamed up with CEN-CENELEC in a joint campaign focused on person-centred care. We contributed an article on EN 17398:2020, available on the CEN-CENELEC website (https://tinyurl.com/298257x5).


CASP 2022 closing event

ANEC Senior Programme Manager, Tania Vandenberghe, joined the CASP 2022 closing event on 25 September 2023.

CASP (Coordinated Activities for the Safety of Products) enables market surveillance authorities to work together to reinforce the safety of products placed on the European market. CASP facilitates joint product testing campaigns and the exchange of good practices among authorities, and aims to increase awareness of product safety among economic operators and consumers.


CASP 2022 started in March 2022 and covered six Product-Specific Activities (PSAs): Toys with magnets; Chemicals in toys; Baby strollers; Ozone air purifiers and sterilisers; Travel adapters; Hygiene products. Furthermore, the action also included four Horizontal activities (HAs): Communication booster; Online market surveillance; Risk assessment and management; Goods and products sold at street markets.

Prior to the action, EC DG JUST consulted ANEC on the priority-setting of CASP 2022. We were pleased several of our proposals were taken up (Magnets in toys; Travel adapters; Goods and products sold at street markets). We participated as a stakeholder in the joint actions on toys with magnets and baby strollers.

The closing event gathered Market Surveillance Authorities (MSAs) from the EEA countries, consumer safety experts, European Commission (EC) representatives, and other stakeholders, and presented the final conclusions and results of the testing campaigns.

ANEC stressed the value of MSAs and manufacturers undertaking risk assessment together.

Details of CASP 2022 and its results can be found on the EC website (https://tinyurl.com/4bhr72pt).


On 13 October, ANEC Senior Programme Manager Tania Vandenberghe, joined a workshop hosted by EC DG GROW in light of an ongoing study on inclusiveness of anthropometrics in European harmonised standards (hENs).

The study aims to gather objective evidence about the extent to which hENs safeguard the general principle of equality and safety, so that products are safe for the European population in all its diversity.


The workshop specifically focused on the anthropometrics aspects covered by EN ISO 15831:2004 ‘Clothing - Physiological effects - Measurement of thermal insulation by means of a thermal manikin’. The assessment carried out by the study team revealed that the standard only partially addresses the diversity of the European population: it does not distinguish between male and female manikins, nor does it require considering age differences. The absence of considerations for female body shapes and diversified anthropometrics may pose safety and health concerns for women and other persons whose body shapes fall outside the indicated ranges or have different proportions.

The workshop discussion focused on the main shortcomings, the best approaches to overcome them and how to make the standard more inclusive.

We stressed the importance of using the ‘design for all principle’ during standards development, so that as many people as possible can use the product, regardless of gender, age or ability. We also suggested to test according to the worst case scenario and real life conditions as far as possible.

ANEC applauds this initiative as it is not acceptable that European standards do not cover the safety needs of all consumers. We look forward to its outcome.

Child Safety

Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion

On 5 & 6 October, ANEC participated in the 11th European Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, held in Reykjavik. The conference highlighted key areas for injury prevention, such as the safety of children, consumer products and services. ANEC child safety expert, Herdis Storgaard, talked about “Safe sleeping of babies in product design”, presenting our position and guidance on how standards can enhance safety in this respect.


While recognising that some aspects of safe sleeping can be addressed only through parental behaviour, Herdis explained how safe sleeping can be promoted through appropriate requirements in product standards, and hence product design and construction, providing guidance on the parameters that should be included in standards to optimise safe sleeping and those that should be avoided. 

Domestic Appliances

ANEC Domestic Appliances WG meets

The annual meeting of the ANEC Domestic Appliances (DOMAP) WG took place in Brussels on 28 & 29 September. It proved bitter-sweet as colleagues said farewell to WG Chair, Karin Both, who left the DIN Consumer Council at the end of September. Karin had been Chair of the WG for almost 20 years.


The first day was a joint session with the ANEC Sustainability WG. Eco-design, energy labelling, and the performance of household appliances and other consumer products, were discussed by experts from both WGs.

The second day discussed issues related to the safety & accessibility of electrical household appliances, gas appliances and machinery, as well as products falling under the General Product Safety Regulation (such as ladders and barbecues).

The meeting gave our experts the chance to reflect in person on their involvement in technical bodies dealing with domestic appliances at both European and international level, and to look ahead to future standardisation work.

WG Secretary, Tania Vandenberghe, made a presentation to Karin, thanking her for her dedication, commitment, knowledge and help over so many years. All in ANEC will miss her. Javier García Fernández from OCU (Spain) succeeds Karin as Chair of the WG. 

The WG also said goodbye and paid tribute to Gerhard Heilmann, a long-serving expert who leaves for a well-deserved retirement.


Reshaping Extended Producer Responsibility

ANEC has joined a coalition of organisations - including the Minderoo Foundation, Recycling Netwerk Benelux, Zero Waste Europe, EEB and others - advocating for reform of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in Europe.


EPR, recognised as an effective way to hold producers responsible for their products and waste, has the potential to promote prevention, reuse, separate collection, and high-quality recycling. However, it currently falls short in encouraging companies to adopt a circular economy approach. To address this, the coalition has put forward policy recommendations for EU legislative measures during the negotiations for the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) and the Waste Framework Directive (WFD). These proposals aim to enhance transparency, redefine the missions of Producer Responsibility Organisations (PROs), harmonise fee structures and eco-modulation principles, combat free-riding, incorporate deposit return systems, and synergise EPR with other economic policies to make it a more effective tool for achieving a circular economy.

The document ‘Let’s reshape EPR’ is published (https://tinyurl.com/mbwe272h), and EURACTIV published an opinion (https://tinyurl.com/f96ybxxv) drafted by the authors of the paper.


Ecodesign requirements for electronic displays

ANEC has been following the revision of the EU regulations for Ecodesign requirements for electronic displays for some years, as this product group - which includes televisions and computer monitors - is of importance to consumers. Despite the regulation being adopted in 2021, harmonised standards are still needed to help products meet the legal requirements.


We are aware of a number of unresolved issues in the current regulation that harmonised standards and future revised regulations should address, and have advised the EC accordingly

One of the main pitfalls of the regulation is a set of technically inaccurate definitions, starting with “pixels”. These definitions are too loosely defined and could lead manufacturers to circumvent the regulation’s energy efficiency requirements, and mislead consumers about the functionality of their displays.

The determination of luminance (or brightness) of an electronic screen also plays a pivotal role in determining its power consumption and, consequently, its compliance with the Ecodesign energy efficiency standards. Yet a loophole allows manufacturers to lower or increase luminance levels artificially before the assessment, again with the potential to mislead consumers as the value on the label is based on the manufacturer’s settings.

For an overview of our ANEC position on Ecodesign requirements for electronic displays, see our reply to the public consultation (https://tinyurl.com/3a694bh4).

Digital Society

Inclusiveness and the new AI standards

On 11 October, ANEC hosted a webinar on 'Inclusiveness of Civil Society Stakeholders in the new AI standards'. We were delighted to welcome grantees from the AI & Society Fund, ANEC members and experts, and other civil society actors.

ANEC Deputy Director-General, Chiara Giovannini, provided a summary of the AI standardisation request (SReq) and outlined the key points of interest for civil society stakeholders. She underlined civil society stakeholders have the right and expectation to be actively informed and involved.


We were delighted to have Philippe Saint-Aubin, Chair of CEN–CENELEC/JTC 21/WG1/TG1 on inclusiveness, present the aims of the Task Group and work ahead of it in increasing the access of civil society organisations to the drafting of AI standards.

We similarly pleased to have Antoine-Alexandre Andre, EC DG CNECT A.2, explain the standardisation workstream in support of the AI Act and key elements, including the representation and participation of all relevant stakeholders; the need to reflect fundamental rights and the alignment of standards with EU values and specificities.

ANEC Digital Society WG meets

The 42nd ANEC Digital Society WG meeting took place in Brussels on 4 & 5 October 2023.

The WG experts exchanged views on a numerous standardisation items of consumer relevance, including EU policy developments such as implementation of the EU Standardisation Strategy and amendment of Standardisation Regulation 1025/2012, as well as Privacy & cybersecurity standardisation, the Safety of audio-video equipment; and Artificial Intelligence.


Draft cybersecurity standards will not protect consumers

ANEC is not supporting the first proposed Harmonised European Standards on cybersecurity as we believe a lack of risk assessment, inconsistent requirements and lack of reproducible tests make them unsuitable to protect consumer security.

In our view, the absence of reproducible tests or assessment methods (or lack of reference to standards containing such tests or assessment methods), to demonstrate objectively that the technical specifications support the Essential Requirements of the Radio Equipment Directive, leaves substantial freedom for manufacturers to interpret assessment criteria.


We regret that many comments submitted by ANEC and other stakeholders on the draft standards were not discussed or considered, despite an enormous number of meetings during the past two years. We resubmitted our comments during the Enquiry on the draft standards that closed on 16 November.

In line with the delegated act of the Radio Equipment Directive, cybersecurity requirements for consumer products will become mandatory from 1 August 2025.


ANEC infographic on Short-term Rentals

Following the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee’s (IMCO) adoption of its report (https://tinyurl.com/ycyjpuba) on the EC proposal to establish uniform regulations for short-term rentals (STRs) across the EU (https://tinyurl.com/3un4w7kd), we have assessed what could still be improved by co-legislators in our "ANEC recommendations to EU co-legislators on Data Collection and Sharing relating to Short-Term Accommodation Rental Services" (https://tinyurl.com/tn8fban8).


The analysis was  developed with the support of our expert, Dr Orsolya Tokaji-Nagy, and her students at The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

Learning from Fire Investigations

ANEC attended the Fire Information Exchange Platform (FIEP) webinar on Fire Investigations on 17 October.


Six Fire Investigation topics were presented during the webinar:

  • CTIF Fire Investigation Work Group
  • Best Practice in Fire investigation
  • ‘Fire Investigation – It’s not magic’
  • The Mont Blanc Tunnel Fire
  • FRIC Learning from Investigation
  • The Use of Fire Testing as Part of Fire Safety Investigations

FRIC is the Fire Research Innovation Centre (https://tinyurl.com/mrvuxyy5). Its main goal is to obtain improved evidence-based decision-making and solutions for fire safety and fire protection in the built environment. The initial focus of the CTIF (https://ctif.org) is to discuss experiences and information acquired during fire investigations, as well as sharing information about research.

As ANEC expert, Alan Cox, noted “it was interesting to see how some Member States and other organisations are developing fire investigation skills because these are extremely important if we are to learn from past mistakes, something often aimed for but not achieved”.

News from ANEC member countries


In its most recent work, the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals has investigated the ingredient lists of many everyday products on sale in physical stores and online.



4 out of 10 shampoos were found to contain suspected endocrine disrupters, allergens, or PFAS. More details of the test carried out can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/879p453a.


The ingredients in deodorant stay on the skin until washed off. For the substances to avoid, see https://tinyurl.com/5a23csmw.

Cosmetics from outside the EU

Face masks, lip balms, hair oils, and creams from online shops outside EU may contain problematic substances, such as PFAS or parabens, and even substances not allowed in the EU: https://tinyurl.com/3b2v8jtk.

Personal care products

Creams, deodorants and make-up may contain suspected endocrine disrupters. See https://tinyurl.com/bdhdc723

All articles and tests can be found at https://tinyurl.com/2p8tc22y.


List of comments 2023

List of meetings 2023

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