2014 - Ed. 9
25th ANEC General Assembly
The 25th meeting of the ANEC General Assembly was held on 13 October in Brussels and saw participation of members from 22 European countries, as well as representatives of the European Commission, the EFTA Secretariat and BEUC.
On the eve of World Standards Day (14 October), members gathered to consider the state of consumer participation in standardisation.
“Prior to confirmation of the new Juncker Commission, we want to remind policymakers of the importance of organised consumer participation throughout the continuum of consumer protection & welfare: from the development of European policy & legislation, through to elaboration of the supporting standards, conformity evaluation & assessment, and on to market surveillance & enforcement”, commented Arnold Pindar, ANEC President.
Public survey of the ESS
EY (formerly Ernst & Young) is undertaking an Independent Review of the European Standardisation System (ESS) for the European Commission.
As part of the Review, an online survey has been launched to assess the perception of stakeholders regarding the suitability of the ESS for the future, the fulfilment of strategic objectives, the efficiency of its processes and governance.
The survey can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/indepreviewESS
The deadline for its completion is 28 November 2014.
New CEN Enquiry procedure
A new CEN Enquiry procedure for draft CEN standards (ENs) will be implemented from 1 January 2015 (CEN BT Decision 35/2014).
The enquiry phase now becomes in effect a weighted vote (YES, NO, ABSTAIN) with 71% of votes and simple majority needed. It is based on the ISO DIS process and all the CEN/ISO parallel ballots under the Vienna Agreement will follow the new procedure as aligned. The enquiry period is reduced to 3 months instead of 5 months. The new procedure allows for the Formal Vote phase to be skipped if the TC considers the document mature enough to be published (on a TC decision).
The aim of the new procedure is to shorten the development process in order to respond to the European Commission in its Communication of 2011 to reduce the development time by half. ANEC remains concerned that the shortening of the enquiry period, could have an adverse impact on the influence of our volunteer experts in the process, and the consultation of membership-based associations.
REACH – conflict with trade agreements?
Franz Fiala, Chair of the ANEC Sustainability WG, presented the consumer view on the regulatory gaps of REACH at the Policy Workshop, “Strengthening REACH Provisions Concerning (Imported) Articles”, on 9 October in Brussels. The debate focused on a research project commissioned by the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) and carried out by the Society for Institutional Analysis (Sofia) with the Öko Institut.
The key issue addressed was the limitation of the REACH authorisation regime to SVHC – Substances of Very High Concern - used in Europe. This consequent gap means that consumers & workers are not fully protected from risks arising from imported articles. The UBA study verified where conflict exists between REACH and WTO agreements. The project describes seven regulatory options and comes to the conclusion that an extended authorisation requirement - extended to cover imported articles with very high concern components - would be compatible with international trade laws. The discussions also centred on ways to improve communication on articles containing SVHC.
Dr Fiala stressed that REACH did not and could not compensate for deficits in the area of consumer products. He referred to the analysis made about REACH in ANEC position paper 'Hazardous chemicals in products - The need for enhanced EU regulations' also based on previous studies conducted by ASI Consumer Council. ANEC also addressed the option of extending communication requirements to other substances.
Presentations given at the meeting can be found at: http://sofia-darmstadt.de/604.0.html
Aesthetic surgery services
ANEC welcomes the approval of EN 16372 on aesthetic surgery services, developed by CEN/TC 403. This European standard addresses aspects to improve the level of aesthetic surgery services to enhance patient safety & satisfaction, and cut risk of complications. The aim is to promote consistently high standards for aesthetic surgery service providers across Europe. This is increasingly important as more and more consumers travel abroad for aesthetic treatment. The standard provides recommendations for before, during and after the procedure.
ANEC contributed to the inclusion of consumer relevant requirements in the standard during its development.
European standard for trampolines
ANEC welcomes the adoption of a European standard for toy trampolines: EN 71-14:2014 "Safety of toys - Part 14: Trampolines for domestic use". The standard was developed by CEN/TC 52 ‘Safety of toys’ following numerous accidents involving trampolines used in domestic gardens (e.g. 7.000 children were injured in Sweden in 2008).
ANEC participated in the preparation of the standard and commented during the enquiry phase. Although we support adoption of EN 71-14, we would like to see an immediate revision started to address outstanding issues such as in-ground trampolines.
Amusement Parks & Attractions
On 4 November, ANEC joined a breakfast discussion in the European Parliament to mark the launch of the IAAPA manifesto, ‘Amusement Parks and Attractions – Driving Leisure and Tourism in Europe’.
At the start of the new parliamentary term, IAAPA Europe - the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions - invited Members of the European Parliament to discuss how tourism in Europe could be grown and, ultimately, investment and jobs.
The breakfast was co-hosted by MEPs Andreas Schwab, EPP Group Coordinator of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, and Wim van de Camp, EPP Group Coordinator of the Transport and Tourism Committee.
ANEC participated in light of the current revision of EN 13814, the European standard for fairground and amusement park equipment.
MEP Schwab highlighted the cross-border aspect of tourism, while MEP van de Camp stressed the social and economic value of the sector.
ANEC welcomed the efforts from industry to increase accessibility and sustainability in amusement parks, but expressed concerns at the lack of a European legal framework for amusement park equipment. We urged regulators to adopt the proposal for a Consumer Product Safety Regulation - presently blocked in the Council of Ministers - as it includes fairground and amusement rides.
Good news on privacy by design
ANEC is pleased that the Standardisation request, ‘Privacy and personal data protection management in the design and development and in the production and service provision and process in the security technologies’ was adopted by the Committee on Standards, the Comitology Committee set up under Regulation (EU) 1025/2012, on 23 October.
We also welcome agreement to the request by the Technical Boards of CEN & CENELEC, during their meetings the following week, despite their original intentions to reject it. The ANEC members were active in their support for the request and will participate in the new CEN-CENELEC Joint Working Group 8 ‘Privacy management in products & services’. The JWG will cover (among others) the implementation of privacy management policies in products and services, including dedicated security products. AFNOR (France) will hold the secretariat.
ANEC joins the AFE-INNOVNET network
In September, ANEC joined the AFE-INNOVNET network - a Europe-wide network on innovation and age-friendly environments, launched in March 2014, and coordinated by AGE-Platform Europe. For the next two years, the network will work on innovation for age-friendly environments. The purpose of the consortium, AFE-INNOVNET, is to set up a community of local and regional authorities and other stakeholders - industries, research centres, universities, civil society organizations – to connect, benefit from each other’s experience and work together to promote initiatives on age-friendly environments across Europe.
For more information on AFE-INNOVNET, please visit http://www.afeinnovnet.eu/.
Intelligent Transport Systems in urban areas
ANEC commented on the European Commission’s draft standardisation request for European standards to support implementation of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) in urban areas.
We welcomed the request since ITS can significantly contribute to fostering a cleaner, safer and more efficient transport system. ITS solutions allow public policy goals to be achieved, and for more efficient use of existing infrastructure and services to be made, while enhancing reliability and safety. ITS enable and facilitate the implementation of new mobility service models, having a good potential to contribute to the decarbonisation of transportation, as well as improve modal integration. An integrated approach to ITS deployment would help facilitate seamless services by avoiding gaps or lack of interoperability.
Webinars for Italian consumer organisations held by ANEC
A series of 3 webinars were organised in October/November 2014 at the suggestion of the Italian Member of the ANEC General Assembly, and with the support of the Ministry of Economic Development of Italy. The sessions covered topics such as the importance of standardisation in Europe and role of ANEC; the European & international standardisation systems; the link between standardisation and European legislation related to products and services likely to affect the consumer.
The webinars were held in Italian and were followed by representatives of several Italian consumer organisations. ANEC would be happy to adapt this online training and we would like to hear from you should you be interested in having a webinar for your country. Please contact the ANEC Secretariat.
For comments or if you wish to write an article for the ANEC Newsletter, please contact: Kristina Aleksandrova (firstname.lastname@example.org).
ANEC is supported by the European Commission and EFTA.