ETSI 3SI programme

Last April, the ETSI General Assembly approved the “3SI programme”. The programme aims to increase ETSI’s support to Annex III Organisations, and to facilitate participation of Annex III Organisations in ETSI standardisation. The first 3SI meeting was held on 24 October. ANEC expert, John Ketchell, was nominated by ANEC, ECOS, ETUC and SBS as their common candidate for election as 3SI Advocate. The Advocate should act as the point of contact for matters related to societal and SMEs interests in ETSI. We welcome that the ETSI Board elected Mr Ketchell as the Advocate on 30 November.

For more information, please visit the ETSI webpages on the 3SI programme.

EC workshop on injury and accident data collection

On 8 & 9 November, ANEC attended the EC workshop, ‘Injury and accident data collection in support of consumer product safety’.

The workshop heard the results of the DG JUST and JRC collaborative project, ‘Consumer Product Safety - Injury Accident Data (CPS-IAData)’. The aim of the project was to examine the options available to give value to existing injury data sources, propose techniques for potential injury data interlinking and increase the use of online news data in support of market surveillance and consumer product safety policy work.

ANEC gave a presentation on injury data gaps. In order to develop standards that lead to safer products, and to defend the consumer interest during standards work, it is of utmost importance that accident and injury statistics are available. ANEC welcomed the project and stressed the need for a pan-European accident and injury database.

The findings of the project confirmed that injury data exits, but is often not known, not accessible and not comparable. There was agreement on the need for more communication and for more evidence of the work. The JRC will use the conclusions from the workshop in writing its final report.

Making online shopping safer

In July, the EC issued guidelines to help national market surveillance authorities in checking products sold online. The guidelines interpret EU product law on e-commerce, offer practical guidance and best practices, as well as giving more information on communication to businesses and consumers on e-commerce. 

Noting Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the lead up to Christmas, ANEC is supporting the #ThinkThenBuy campaign on social media, which aims at helping consumers buy safely on-line and avoid unnecessary risks.

Accessibility/Child Safety

Medical beds for children

We welcome publication by CENELEC of EN 50637:2017 ‘Medical electrical equipment - Particular requirements for the basic safety and essential performance of medical beds for children’.

ANEC expert, Herdis Storgaard, participated in the work of CENELEC TC 62 WG1 ‘Medical beds for children’ and contributed to the elaboration of a standard that offers a high level of child protection. EN 50637 applies to medical beds with nonadjustable and electrical/mechanical adjustable functions, with internal length of up to 180 cm.

Child Safety

Formamide in toys

Noting work of the subgroup on chemicals, established under the EC Toy Safety Expert Group, ANEC representative, Franz Fiala, presented a draft position paper on formamide to the September meeting of the subgroup. The paper discusses the need for possible content limits for formamide for toys intended for use by children under 36 months, or in toys intended to be placed in the mouth, to be added to Appendix C of the Toy Safety Directive in order to address possible health risks following ingestion of toy materials.

The paper concludes it is unlikely formamide is present in such toys in significant amounts and that, as a consequence, additional limits for formamide in Appendix C are not needed. The subgroup concurred with the ANEC position.

The final version of the position paper ‘Formamide in toys: no need for additional content-based limits in Appendix C of the Toy Safety Directive’ is available through the ANEC website.

Digital Society

How to secure consumer trust in the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things should bring social and economic benefits to consumers. But these benefits will be achieved only if the services and products consumers buy (or contract) are designed with trust, privacy, and security embedded.

ANEC, together with BEUC, Consumers International (CI) & ICRT, have identified the challenges and opportunities consumers may face in IoT and developed recommendations based on a set of principles which we consider essential to use if we are to build a thriving and trusted digital environment for consumers.

The ANEC, BEUC, CI & ICRT position paper, ‘Securing consumer trust in the Internet of things | Principles and Recommendations’, was released on 28 November during the BEUC conference, ‘Internet of Things: A brave new world for consumers? A joint press release marked the event.

New standards on EMF to increase consumer protection

ANEC welcomes the publication of new CENELEC standards on human exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) from mobile phones, RFID devices and broadcasting antennas that require the products be tested under conditions of reasonably foreseeable use, in line with applicable legislation (Radio Equipment Directive, 2014/53/EU).

The standards, developed by CENELEC TC 106X on ‘Electromagnetic fields in the human environment’ refer to established international safety limits protect consumers using smart phones etc. We must thank our experts, Philippe Capitaine from France and Harke Smits from The Netherlands, for their contributions to TC 106X.

The following standards were listed in the Official Journal of the EU (C389) on 17 November:

  • EN 50360:2017 ‘Product standard to demonstrate the compliance of wireless communication devices, with the basic restrictions and exposure limit values related to human exposure to electromagnetic fields in the frequency range from 300 MHz to 6 GHz: devices used next to the ear’;
  • EN 50385:2017 ‘Product standard to demonstrate the compliance of base station equipment with radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure limits (110 MHz — 100 GHz), when placed on the market’
  • EN50401:2017 ‘Product standard to demonstrate the compliance of base station equipment with radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure limits (110 MHz — 100 GHz), when put into service
  • EN50566:2017 ‘Product standard to demonstrate the compliance of wireless communication devices with the basic restrictions and exposure limit values related to human exposure to electromagnetic fields in the frequency range from 30 MHz to 6 GHz: hand-held and body mounted devices in close proximity to the human body’


ANEC is seeking an expert on cybersecurity & data protection

label for cybersecurity expert vacancyANEC seeks an expert to assist us in activities on the standardisation of cybersecurity and personal data protection & privacy. The work entails participation in meetings and providing expertise in terms of written comments, as well as advice to the ANEC Digital Society Working Group and ANEC Secretariat on work in the field. The expert will also represent ANEC in CEN-CENELEC/TC 13 on cybersecurity, and other relevant technical bodies.

The contract is for 12 months. A further contract may be awarded. ANEC will reimburse daily consultancy fees, travel and accommodation expenses.

Details on how to apply, and a complete description of the role, can be found in the vacancy notice.

German ban on children's smartwatches

The German Telecoms regulator, the Federal Network Agency, has banned the sale of smartwatches aimed at children, describing them as spying devices. Previously, the agency also banned the internet-connected doll, My Friend Cayla.

As reported in our previous newsletter, we joined a Transatlantic action against children’s smartwatches in October. The Norwegian Consumer Council, together with a security firm, analysed four smart watches available online and in Norwegian stores. The tests revealed that a stranger can take control of a smartwatch to track, listen, or talk to a child, all without the parent’s knowledge.

For more information, watch the YouTube video, https://goo.gl/B5dzeZ.

ANEC welcomes the German decision to ban smart watches for children and calls for Europe-wide measures to increase the security of such devices.

Domestic Appliances

7th Carbon Monoxide Round Table

ANEC participated in the 7th Carbon Monoxide Round Table held on 5 December in the EP.

pie chart image with different images of carbon monoxide sourcesThe event, hosted by MEPs Linda McAvan and Marian Harkin, was divided into two sessions: the first one on health and safety in energy efficient buildings; the second on national approaches of inspections of HVAC systems (heating, ventilation en air conditioning).

To mark the round table, ANEC and Consumer Safety International re-launched our leaflet on Carbon Monoxide to warn consumers against the dangers of this ‘Silent Killer’. The leaflet explains that carbon monoxide has no colour, taste or smell and strikes without warning. Each year, carbon monoxide kills more people in Europe than HIV/Aids, alcohol abuse and skin cancer, and yet hundreds of thousands of people are unaware of its deadly potential. The leaflet gives consumers simple tips to recognise and prevent CO intoxication, and guidance on what to do in case of a CO poisoning. Please help spread the word by distributing the leaflet as widely as possible.

Earlier this year, ANEC supported the adoption by CEN of EN 1860-1/A1 “Appliances, solid fuels and firelighters for barbecuing – Part 1: Barbecues burning solid fuels - Requirements & test methods”. The amendment introduces a safety symbol to appear on barbecues in order to warn consumers not to use barbeques indoors because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.


ANEC President speaks at European Tourism Day

On 28 November, the EC hosted European Tourism Day 2017.

European Tourism Day panellistsANEC President, Arnold Pindar, gave the consumer perspective in the section, ‘Businesses' adaptation to the evolution of tourism models and consumer expectations”, during which he exchanged views with Michel de Blust, Secretary-General of the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators' Association (ECTAA).

Key trends addressed were digitalisation and the sustainability of tourism services. Mr Pindar stressed, that although consumers demand change and evolve towards more digital means and personalised services, the consumer principles of access, safety, information, choice, redress, representation and sustainability must remain valid.


ANEC and Keep Me Posted EU

On 9 and 10 November in London, Keep Me Posted UK (KMPUK) and Royal Mail hosted the ‘Keep Me Posted EU (KMPEU) Campaigners’ Day in order to discuss progress in countries with or without a ‘Keep Me Posted’ campaign. ANEC President and Chair of the National Consumer Federation, Arnold Pindar, gave a presentation as a KMPUK supporter. He said the campaign’s aim to maintain choice and inclusiveness reflected consumer rights. A successful ‘Keep Me Posted’ campaign would ensure the most vulnerable in society have access to bills and statements on paper, regardless of whether the vulnerability was due to age, disability or financial issues.

Particular reference was made to a study by Natur-Energi, Denmark and another, ‘Managing money online – working as well as we think?’ by London Economics. They found new customers pay bills significantly later if the invoice is received their invoice by e-mail, compared with those who receive a invoice on paper.

Smart Meters & Smart Grids

Developing synergies between the DSM and Energy Union

Image of the event with a presentation on screen

On 27 November, the EC hosted an event on developing synergies between the Digital Single Market (DSM) and the Energy Union. The event included a live demonstration showcasing an interoperable smart grid based on standards, with a large and diversified group of suppliers covering the energy value chain.

The EC fostered creation of a common interoperability language - SAREF (Smart Appliances REFerence ontology) - which became a standard of ETSI and OneM2M (the global initiative for Internet of Things standardisation) in 2015. The aim of the event was to demonstrate the implementation of interoperability for demand-side flexibility using ETSI SAREF & oneM2M, together with CEN-CENELEC and IEC standards, and to discuss future needs.

ANEC welcomes SAREF which contributes to achieving semantic interoperability for smart devices.

News from ANEC Members

Goodbye Inga!

Inga Filmer, a UK expert from the ANEC Domestic Appliances WG, and a former Vice-Chair, is retiring at the end of the year. Inga played an invaluable role in our campaign to revise the EN 60335 series of standards for electrical household appliances in order to take into account use by children, older people and people with disabilities.

We must thank Inga for her great commitment and enthusiasm in defending the consumer interest in standardisation, and in achieving consumer products that are safer for all.

On behalf of all in ANEC, we send Inga our very best wishes for the future.

Market surveillance of playground equipment

During 2015, the Swedish Consumer Agency and Boverket (the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building, and Planning) worked with Sweden’s municipalities and county councils in performing market surveillance of playgrounds and playground equipment. Inspections of 26 playgrounds in five municipalities, distributed both geographically and in terms of size, were carried out by inspectors against the requirements of European safety standards for playground equipment (the EN 1176 series). In addition, accessibility for people with disabilities was checked.

The inspections identified 524 safety deficiencies: 159 maintenance deficiencies (broken, worn or rot-damaged play equipment); 145 dangerous openings (allowing entrapment of head, neck, finger, clothing/hair, feet, or legs), 104 deficiencies in impact-absorbing surfacing, 18 excessive fall heights or missing/faulty protection against falling; 47 falls zones that were too small; 36 protruding sections; 9 faults where the ground clearance was too low; 6 key areas without protection against falling. The most common deficiencies related to equipment where a child’s head or neck could become trapped.

To read the full report, please visit the Konsumentverket website.





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.).