21 Aug 2015
Withdrawal of Safety Standards for Certain Children’s Articles and Outdoor Activity Items
On 31 July 2015, the Official Journal published a Commission Implementing Decision which will be of particular note to Hong Kong traders of certain consumer items, including children’s articles and outdoor activity consumer goods. Commission Implementing Decision 2015/1320 of 30 July 2015 concerns the withdrawal of the references of harmonised EU standards on soother holders, on soothers, on buoyancy aids for swimming instructions and on barbecues.
Hong Kong producers in the business of supplying consumer goods to EU consumers will likely be familiar with the concept of safety standards, published in the framework of a number of product safety-related European laws. The abovementioned items have been covered by such safety standards under Directive 2001/95/EC on general product safety.
Article 3 of that Directive states that a product shall be presumed safe as far as the risks and risk categories covered by relevant national standards are concerned, when the product conforms to voluntary national standards transposing European standards, the references of which have been published in the Official Journal.
However, another provision, Article 4 emphasises that if a standard does not ensure compliance with the general safety requirement, the Commission shall withdraw reference to the standard from publication in whole or in part.
Hong Kong producers may recall that the European Commission had published, in the C series of the Official Journal, the references of the following standards:
(a) EN 12586:1999 and EN 12586:1999/AC:2002 ‘Child use and care articles — Soother holder — Safety requirements and methods’;
(b) EN 1400-1:2002 ‘Child use and care articles — Soothers for babies and young children — Part 1: General safety requirements and product information’;
(c) EN 1400-2:2002 ‘Child use and care articles — Soothers for babies and young children — Part 2: Mechanical requirements and tests’;
(d) EN 1400-3:2002 ‘Child use and care articles — Soothers for babies and young children — Part 3: Chemical requirements and tests’;
(e) EN 13138-2:2002 ‘Buoyant aids for swimming instruction — Part 2: Safety requirements and test methods for buoyant aids to be held’;
(f) EN 1860-1:2003 ‘Appliances, solid fuels and firelighters for barbecuing — Part 1: Barbecues burning solid fuels — Requirements and test methods’.
The new Commission Decision, published on 31 July 2015, now reports that the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) has withdrawn all the above-mentioned standards. These standards, which no longer exist, do not ensure compliance with the general safety requirement.
Hong Kong producers should therefore be alerted to the fact that the European Commission has, in consequence and by means of this Decision, withdrawn the references of these standards from the EU’s Official Journal. Commission Implementing Decision 2015/1320 is scheduled to enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal. Please click on the following to read Commission Implementing Decision 2015/1320.