International Product Safety Week 2018 (IPSW2018)

During International Product Safety Week (12 to 15 November), ANEC spoke in two sessions of the ICPHSO International Symposium.

Chiara Giovannini participated on the first day in the discussions of Plenary Session 3, ‘Design products for Diverse Global Populations’. She shared our experience in leading revision of the European Standards on the safety of electrical domestic appliances (the EN 60335-2 series), which had excluded “children and infirm people” from the provisions of the standards. Our campaign to remove the ‘exclusion clause’ has resulted in every single household electrical appliance on sale in Europe being safer for all consumers, regardless of age or ability: literally hundreds of millions of products.

On the second day, Tania Vandenberghe joined Breakout Session 5, ‘Safety of Toys – Steps toward alignment’, where she stressed that convergence of toy standards is dependent upon greater coherence of the legislation which governs the production and sale of toys. She noted the lack of dialogue among legislators responsible for toy safety internationally and regretted that most debate appears to happen between countries (or regions) bilaterally or trilaterally. ANEC believe children deserve the same level of safety the world over.

Chiara and Tania were supported by the several members of ANEC who attended IPSW2018.

ICPHSO meeting

The safety of connected products

During the OECD-EC joint conference, ‘It’s smart, but is it safe?’, on 14 November, policy-makers discussed safety of smart products in an increasingly connected world. ANEC joined BEUC in reminding them that consumers must be protected from both safety and security flaws. More in the new ANEC/BEUC factsheet: https://goo.gl/j5ZK3Y


A Digital Manifesto for the next Commission

On 9 November, ANEC Secretary-General, Stephen Russell, joined a meeting of civil society representatives with Martin Selmayr, Secretary-General of the European Commission. The aim of the meeting, hosted by BEUC & the Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI), was to exchange views about how to inspire the next Commission to support the design of a people-centric digital transformation. The baseline was that too much attention is given to the benefits and growth perspectives of artificial intelligence, without providing the framework needed to prevent its risks.

It was agreed to build on the success of these first exchanges and meet again in Spring 2019.

Elections to European Accreditation Advisory Board

The meeting of the European Accreditation Advisory Board (EAAB) on 17 October saw election of a new Board. The Board constitutes the main channel for stakeholders to interact with the European Co-operation for Accreditation (EA). ANEC is pleased the appointment of Francis E Farrugia, the Maltese member of our General Assembly, to represent the Consumer College was confirmed.

Child Safety

Children and the City - Play Spaces

ANEC joined the Children and the City – Play Spaces’ conference, a national event organised by the Faculty of Architecture of the Czech Technical University in Prague, on 25-26 October. The conference, attended by 160 people, focussed on playgrounds, their design and safety. It aimed at introducing the updated CSN EN 1176 for playground equipment, which came into force in October, and to bring together those involved in the design, creation, maintenance, and inspection of play spaces in reaching a common long-term vision.

ANEC expert, Helena Menezes, explained how standards affect the design of playgrounds and how existing playgrounds can be adapted to the latest standards.

An outcome of the conference is the intention to promote a revision of the legal framework in order to confirm the importance of standards as a valuable tool in achieving safe playgrounds, while allowing children to experience risk in a controlled environment, as envisaged by EN 1176-1. It was agreed a declaration be issued, encompassing “a common long-term vision, which will lead to a gradual improvement in the process of design, building and installation, maintenance and inspection of play spaces to better serve their users, i.e. children”.


27th ANEC Accessibility WG meeting

The annual meeting of the ANEC Accessibility WG took place on 8-9 November in Berlin, hosted by DIN Consumer Council. ANEC was welcomed by the Head of the Safety Group in DIN, Volker Jacumeit, who stressed the need for consumer participation in standardisation. Ingeborg Stude, of the Senate Department for Urban Development, Housing & Environment of Berlin, made an excellent presentation about making cultural heritage sites barrier-free by developing unconventional solutions that are respectful of the original fabric of each site. Other discussions revolved around ongoing and future standardisation work, as well as our horizontal approach to accessibility.

Our thanks to the DIN Consumer Council for their kindness in hosting the meeting.

Accessibility WG members

‘Design for All’ standard approved

EN 17161 'Design for All - Accessibility following a Design for All approach in products, goods and services - Extending the range of users' has been approved. This standard was prepared by CEN-CLC JWG 12 ‘Design for All’ in response to mandate M/473 to include ‘Design for All’ in relevant standardisation initiatives, and in training material on accessibility standardisation. ANEC campaigned for the adoption of the standard, and well as contributing significantly to its drafting.

A Design for All approach can maximise the range of potential users of products, goods and services, and so increase market share. It can also increase the proportion of the population, including persons with disabilities, able to participate fully and independently in society. The accessibility of products, goods and services realised by Design for All therefore represents a win-win for all citizens and organisations.

Political agreement on European Accessibility Act

On 8 November, provisional agreement on the European Accessibility Act was finally reached by the EU Institutions after much discussion. We welcome the agreement, but are saddened by the lack of its ambition.

A range of products and services will need to be made accessible and usable by persons with disabilities (e.g. computers, smartphones, TVs, e-readers, ATMs, payment terminals). The 112-emergency number and telephony services will also have to be accessible. However, the agreement excludes crucial aspects, such as access to the built environment, transport, and exempts microenterprises that provide services or household appliances.

The agreement will now be submitted to the Council's Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) for approval. Presuming agreement, the Parliament will vote in plenary session, with the Council concluding the adoption process.

More on the provisional agreement here.

Person in a wheelchair

Domestic Appliances

8th Carbon Monoxide Round Table

ANEC joined the 8th Carbon Monoxide Round Table, hosted by MEPs Marian Harkin and Linda McAvan, as well as CoGDEM, on 6 November. The meeting focused on the health dimensions of carbon monoxide (CO), from awareness of the symptoms of CO poisoning to the diagnosis, first response and patient treatment.

We said indoor air quality needs to be improved by setting limit values for CO in legislation. In our view, several European Standards permit too high concentrations of CO to build in the room where an appliance is installed. Such delicate and political decisions, that have a direct or key impact on the protection or welfare of consumers, must be taken at the EU level and not delegated to the European Standardisation Organisations.

The possible link between CO exposure and major illnesses, including heart failure, dementia and Parkinson’s disease, was touched upon. Physicians highlighted that long-term exposure to even minute doses of CO may lead to such illnesses, although it is difficult to recognise when a patient’s illness is caused by low levels of CO poisoning.

CO poisoning is the cause of numerous deaths annually. Especially at this time of year, with temperatures falling, it is vital to raise awareness among consumers never to take a barbecue indoors to use as a heating source. ANEC will continue to collaborate with its partners to help to do so. You can find more information at the following links: https://goo.gl/6VDBvf and https://www.leanonus.co/headline.

Meeting participants


Increasing the reach of CEN Guide 16

In July of last year, CEN published 'Guide 16 - Guide for addressing chemicals in standards for consumer-relevant articles' (more can be found here). At the end of August 2018, the Guide had already been viewed nearly 1.500 times by almost 1.000 users. Nevertheless, our goal is to increase awareness of the Guide further and to encourage its application. Hence, ANEC is leading the implementation strategy for the Guide in CEN.

The CEN SABE Environmental Issues in Standardization (ENIS) meeting on 17 October gave its support to a draft strategy presented by Franz Fiala, Chair of the ANEC Sustainability WG. It gave particular support to actions that can be achieved easily and quickly, such as webinars on Guide 16, and the revision of forms for the proposal of new work items etc. A small group was set up to monitor related activities in individual TCs or the broader CEN sectors.

Should you be aware of further opportunities to promote Guide 16 or want more information, please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Revision of the Drinking Water Directive

In the past months, ANEC has contributed to the revision of the Drinking Water Directive, notably through publishing two papers: the ANEC position paper on the proposal for a revised Drinking Water Directive and ANEC comments on proposed amendments to the proposal for a directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption.

At the plenary session of the Parliament in October, MEP Dantin’s report, 'Quality of water intended for human consumption' was adopted. Overall, this report is much improved from the original proposal and in line with our suggested amendments. Parliament will now enter into negotiation with the Council. We will follow the developments closely.

Filling water from bottle into glas

Digital Society

Chiara appointed to HLEG AI

ANEC Deputy Secretary General, Chiara Giovannini, has been appointed to the EC High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence, which aims to support implementation of the European strategy on Artificial Intelligence. Following an open selection process, the Commission has appointed 52 experts to the HLEG, comprising representatives from academia, civil society, as well as industry. We are pleased to be able to reinforce the consumer representation in these discussions.

Chiara Giovannini


ANEC participates in EU Tourism Day 2018

On 7 November, the EC hosted European Tourism Day in Brussels. Tourism stakeholders from across Europe joined discussion on a renewed EU industrial policy strategy.

In addition, this year's event hosted an awards ceremony for the first edition of the European Capital of Smart Tourism competition. We must add our congratulations to Ljubljana, Slovenia on winning the award for sustainability. Ljubljana was winner of the European Green Capital Award in 2016, and is a city were sightseeing and technology go hand-in-hand.

ANEC is active in ISO/TC 228 ‘Tourism and related services’, particularly its WG 14 ‘Accessible Tourism’. Through this, ANEC continues to stress that, though many consumers may demand innovation and evolve towards more digitalised services, the core principles of access, safety, information, choice, redress, representation & sustainability remain valid and must be reflected in relevant legislation and standards.

Meeting participants

Traffic and Mobility

New labelling of power supply of EVs

ANEC welcomes the adoption of the new European Standard, EN 17186 'Identification of vehicles and infrastructures compatibility - Graphical expression for consumer information on Electric Vehicle power supply’. It takes a similar approach to that of EN 16942 on the refuelling of vehicles (see the ANEC video on our YouTube channel, https://bit.ly/2MiS3SK).

Read more in our press release.

List of comments 2018 List of meetings 2018

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