2015 - Ed. 2
ANEC Annual Action Plan 2015
In June 2013, the ANEC General Assembly adopted the ANEC Strategy 2014 to 2020, comprising a Vision and Mission supported by ten Strategic Objectives. The actions intended to implement the Strategic Objectives are set out in Annual Action Plans. These are developed by the ANEC Steering Committee and approved by the General Assembly. Quarterly Progress Reports were made to the ANEC General Assembly and Steering Committee on the implementation of the ANEC Annual Action Plan 2014. The final Progress Report on the ANEC Action Plan 2014 was issued in January 2015 for endorsement by the ANEC General Assembly. The majority of the actions were successfully completed, although several were postponed to 2015 due to external factors.
In 2015, ANEC will continue with the implementation of the ongoing actions. New actions are prioritised, while actions in support of other priorities may be taken, especially where these represent a continuation of “business as usual”.
The ANEC Annual Action Plan 2015 was adopted in January and is available here.
Rolling plan under the GPSD
Taking into account developments in various regulations, standardisation rules and policy, as well as discussions on possible work items, the Commission's Product Safety Unit of DG JUST proposed updates to the rolling plan for standardisation under the General Product Safety Directive. Following consultation with the Consumer Safety Network, and contributions received from Member States and ANEC, DG JUST proposed taking forward these work items in 2015-2016: Barbecues (appliances, solid fuels and firelighters); Pushchairs (possibly including accessories); Children's shoes; Playing field equipment; Roller skates and similar equipment (e.g. kick-scooters, inline-skates, skateboards); and Playground equipment. The rolling plan is flexible and subject to further changes when deemed necessary due to new developments in the market.
New CENELEC Enquiry & Formal Vote procedures
New CEN procedures for Enquiry were adopted in 2014. Following this decision, at its Technical Board (BT) meeting on 27 January, CENELEC adopted a new implementation plan for enquiry and formal vote procedures.
It was proposed to skip the formal vote and to ratify a European standard in case the weighted vote associated with the enquiry procedure was positive, i.e. at least 71%. This proposal was not supported by the Annex III Organisations present, including ANEC. We argued that skipping the Formal Vote would reduce our possibility to contribute to the standards development process on behalf of weaker stakeholders. We added that the Technical Committee should at least be given the opportunity to deal with the comments received.
The CENELEC BT decided to make the condition for skipping Formal Vote to be that the weighted vote at the Enquiry procedure be 100%. The process will be evaluated after 12 months. ANEC welcomes the CENELEC decision but notes the procedure remains different from CEN where the decision to skip Formal Vote rests with the TC.
ANEC at TTIP Round 8 Stakeholder Event
The Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission organised a stakeholder engagement events on 4th February during the eighth round of the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, held in Brussels the same week. Stakeholders had the opportunity to make short presentations on topics related to the TTIP negotiations.
ANEC Senior Manager, Chiara Giovannini, presented the consumers point of view on standards in TTIP. A very important goal of TTIP is to bring rules and regulations on both sides of the Atlantic in line with one another to achieve greater regulatory coherence. ANEC believes there are several risks in the recognition of equivalence of standards and regulations which need to be considered. As regards standards, these risks stem from the very different standardisation systems in the EU and the US. Moreover, conformity assessment and marking can all hide risks associated with mutual agreement and the misleading use of marking/labelling.
5th Carbon Monoxide round table in EP
Linda McAvan MEP, in cooperation with the Council for Gas Detection and Monitoring (CoGDEM), hosted the 5th Carbon Monoxide Round Table in the European Parliament on 3 February 2015. ANEC gas expert, Stephen Hadley, attended the event, which brought together MEPs and European Commission officials, as well as experts and representatives from several EU Member States. As in previous CO Round Tables, participants had the opportunity to share their experiences in addressing the threat posed by carbon monoxide. ANEC attended the meeting in light of the revision of the Gas Appliances Directive, and intends to engage further with MEPs as we believe the Commission proposal for a Regulation on appliances burning gaseous fuels gives an opportunity to tackle the problem of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Lower energy costs for consumers
Cooking now comes at a lower cost as new Ecodesign measures on new gas and electric ovens, hobs and range hoods entered into force across Europe on 20 February. It is expected that the energy efficiency improvements on these products will result in lower energy bills for consumers. According to European Commission estimates, a combination of an efficient oven, set of hobs, and range hood could bring up to 50€ savings on European consumers' annual energy bills. The improvements concern new products placed on the market. ANEC suggests consumers use the Energy Label as a compass in their quest for the most efficient ovens and range hoods.
Standard on aesthetic surgery services
The European Standard on Aesthetic Surgery services, EN 16372, was published beginning of 2015. The standard was prepared by CEN TC 403 'Aesthetic Surgery and Aesthetic Non-surgical Medical services' over the last years. EN 16372 was adopted by CEN in October 2014 and will be published at national level across Europe before the end of June 2015.
The standard seeks to improve the quality of the aesthetic surgery services, enhance the safety and satisfaction of patients, and reduce the risk of complications.
ANEC participated in the development of this deliverable and welcomes the publication of EN 16372.
ANEC Secretary-General, Stephen Russell - quoted in the official CEN press release - said: “We sought the inclusion of consumer relevant requirements in the standard during its development and we consider the standard satisfactory from the consumer perspective. Promoting consistently high standards for aesthetic surgery service providers across Europe is increasingly important, as more and more consumers travel abroad for aesthetic treatment. We also believe that EN 16372 could help offer assurances to consumers in countries where there are no legal or insufficient requirements in this area”.
ANEC will now follow the work of CEN TC 403 in developing a separate European Standard on non-surgical medical procedures.
Cognitive disabilities standards and mobile technologies
ANEC expert, Nikolas Floratos, has been selected to work on an ETSI Guide/Standard on recommendations to allow people with cognitive disabilities to exploit the potential of mobile technologies. The work will be carried out by a Specialist Task Force (STF) ZV, under EC/EFTA funding, following a proposal made by the ANEC representative, supported by the ETSI TC Human Factors. Another ANEC expert, Gill Whitney, has expressed interest in supporting the work of this STF.
The work should start in March 2015 and end in November 2016. It responds to section 3.2.2 “Accessibility of ICT products and services" of the EC Rolling plan for ICT standardisation (2013), in particular "Design of ICT that better addresses the needs of persons with cognitive and learning disabilities". It aims at allowing older people and people with cognitive disabilities, who together form the largest proportion among persons with disabilities, to use a mobile device - including a tablet PC or smartphone - as their assistant to access e-information and to use mobile-enabled electronic services that go beyond voice telephony. These services - including e-learning, e-socialising, e-communicating, e-interacting with public services & e-travelling - are critical and necessary for independent living.
Touch screens in lifts
ANEC is working on the revision of EN 81-70 "Safety rules for the construction and installation of lifts —Part 70: Accessibility to lifts for persons including persons with disability". The revision is carried out by CEN/TC 10 WG 7 ‘Accessibility to lifts for persons including persons with disability’ set up following an ANEC request.
At the end of last year, a proposal was made to use touch-screen technology in lifts. The main reason for this development is the velocity of management of lift groups, which can be speeded up by this technical solution when the call button positioned on a column before the lift group is pressed. However, according to ANEC representative in WG 7 Monika Klenovec, all these solutions have never been tested sufficiently together with the relevant user groups of blind, partially sighted and elderly people. Alerted by ANEC, the European Blind Union, the European Disability Forum and other national disability associations also expressed a negative opinion on this technology. Negative comments were also submitted by Danish Standards (DS) and the Swedish Standardisation Body (SIS).
At the WG 7 meeting in February 2015, a new approach for a possible standardisation of touchscreen requirements was agreed, applicable only for destination controls in lobbies of huge office buildings with groups of lifts. It will be based on the US California Building Code and will take into account the needs of people with disabilities, especially blind and visually impaired persons. ANEC will continue to contribute to the work in order to ensure that the needs of all consumers are taken into account.
Standardisation request for ethanol stoves
On 6 February, ANEC replied to the consultation of stakeholders on a standardisation request regarding alcohol-powered flueless fireplaces, so-called ethanol stoves. ANEC supports the timely standardisation request as these products are associated with various hazards. ANEC is following the work of CEN TC 46 by correspondence and submitted comments during the Enquiry on prEN 16647 ‘Fireplaces for liquid fuels - Decorative appliances producing a flame using alcohol based or gelatinous fuel - Use in private households’ at the beginning of 2014.
Alternative fuels infrastructure
On 19 January, ANEC agreed to the acceptance of the standardisation request in support of the implementation of Directive 2014/94/EU on deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure. ANEC supports the standardisation request as large environmental benefits can be realised from deploying alternative fuels. ANEC participates in the CEN-CENELEC eMobility Coordination Group (eMCG) which is gathering all the TCs working on electric supply in view of this standardisation request.
Revision of ISO 4210 & ISO 8098 standards
In January 2015, ANEC replied to the call for experts in ISO/TC 149/SC 1/WG 13 which has been created for the continuous improvement of standards, EN ISO 4210 ‘Cycles - Safety requirements for bicycles’ and EN ISO 8098 ‘Cycles - Safety requirements for bicycles’. In the past, ANEC participated in the revision of the two standards EN ISO 4210 and EN ISO 8098 under WG 9 “Revision of ISO 4210 and ISO 8098”. Both standards were finalised and published in 2014. EN ISO 4210 has replaced EN 14764: 2005; EN 14766: 2005, and EN 14781: 2005; EN ISO 8098 has replaced EN 14765:2005 + A1:2008. The European Commission plans to publish the references of the new standards EN ISO 4210 ‘Cycles - Safety requirements for bicycles’ and EN ISO 8098 ‘Cycles - Safety requirements for bicycles’ in the OJEU.
Strategic Workshop on Nanotechnology
ECOS, CIEL (Center for International Environmental Law) and Öko-Institut held a strategic workshop on nanotechnologies on 10 February in Brussels. The objective of the workshop was to bridge the gap between science and policy by empowering the work of NGOs and other stakeholders to ensure proper risk assessment of nanomaterials. Speakers included representatives from the European Parliament, the Technical University Denmark, and international environmental organisations. They addressed the technical challenges in nanotechnology related policy and regulation, and, amongst other topics, toxicity and ecotoxicity of nanomaterials.
ANEC experts on nanomaterials participated in the discussions at the workshop. ANEC was also invited to be part of the Advisory Board of the project where key stakeholders are consulted to ensure the project adequately guards the needs of civil society.
The workshop is part of the three year project ECOS, CIEL and Öko-Institute are carrying out through funding by the Villum foundation. They participate in the work of the CEN and ISO,as well as the OECD, especially on issues related to health, environmental and safety aspects of nanomaterials, exposure and risk assessment. The organisations aim at translating progress into legible information and issue policy recommendations to guide regulators and support civil society organisations around the world in their campaigns for safe and sustainable production and use of nanomaterials.
More information regarding ECOS-CIEL and Öko-Institute project on nanotechnology is available here.
Call for expert(s) to represent ANEC in work on toy safety
We are currently looking for volunteer consumer experts and representatives in the area of toy safety to represent ANEC in CEN TC 52 ‘Safety of toys’ and CEN TC 52 WG3 ‘Mechanical and physical properties'.
The primary objective of CEN TC 52 is the preparation and maintenance of European safety standards for toys with regard to mechanical, physical and chemical properties, flammability and labelling in accordance with the European Toy Safety Directive.
Although we are unable to offer a salary or honorarium, we do cover the travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses of our experts in line with the rules laid down by the European Commission and EFTA Secretariat.
Above all, we offer the possibility to our experts to influence standards to the benefit of all those in society.
For more information about this Call for Expert(s), please visit our Vacancies page.
For comments or if you wish to write an article for the ANEC Newsletter, please contact: Kristina Aleksandrova (email@example.com).
ANEC is supported by the European Commission and EFTA.