2013 - Ed. 10
ANEC Secretary-General speaks at key Brussels safety seminar
The CEOC International – EUROLAB - IFIA Safety Seminar 2013 was held in Brussels on 27 November. The conference, dedicated to “Safer Products and Industrial Installations in a Globalising World”, was attended by over 150 participants from across the economic & social spectrum. The event was opened by Malcolm Harbour MEP, Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market & Consumer Protection (IMCO), and concluded with a speech by Neven Mimica, the EU Commissioner for Consumer Policy.
ANEC Secretary-General, Stephen Russell, presented the consumer expectations of product safety & market surveillance. He noted that the present revision of European product safety & market surveillance legislation is an occasion to improve consumer protection, but the actors involved have different ideas about what to achieve and how to achieve it. Despite steps taken by the European Institutions in recent years to strengthen market surveillance, he believed there is still need for a European framework for market surveillance in order to ensure a coherent and effective approach to surveillance activities across all Member States.
Mr Russell added that ANEC welcomed both the Commission proposals and IMCO reports on the Product Safety Package, although not all proposals and amendments had brought improvements. He reiterated ANEC’s position on CE Marking, which we believe misleading for consumers who see it as a safety mark, or as a mark of approval by some European authority. Hence, our view that CE marking should be relegated to the technical file of a product and not used on the product or its packaging.
He did not support the IMCO proposal for an “EU safety tested label”, or the previous idea of “CE-plus marking”, as an answer to the failings of CE marking. For a new mark to have merit, it would need to be related to risk, mandatory where appropriate, and with a clear link to the new multiannual programme of market surveillance proposed by the Commission. Concluding that the introduction of the label as proposed would be a case of “two wrongs not making a right”, he said he believed it more important to focus on the methodology of the conformity assessment behind a mark, rather than the mark itself.
Stephen Russell (second from left) among fellow panellists at the seminar
Opening the window on to the web – ANEC welcomes IMCO vote
On 28 November, the European Parliament’s IMCO Committee adopted a legislative report on a proposed Directive on the accessibility of the websites of public sector bodies. The IMCO members introduced a number of important amendments, which we welcomed in a press release.
We are pleased MEPs voted to extend the scope of the proposal to cover all public bodies’ websites as well as other websites providing public tasks delivered online. The report also foresees a requirement for websites designed to be surfed by mobile devices, or through applications provided by the website owner, to be accessible. A rigorous enforcement and reporting mechanism is also envisioned, with the designation of a competent authority by Member States to monitor compliance and examine complaints brought by consumers.
The Rapporteur for the report, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis MEP, will now seek a mandate to start negotiations with the Council with a view to adopting the legislation before the end of the present legislature.
"Omnibus" review study on 8 ecodesign product groups
In order to facilitate its work in the area of Ecodesign and Energy Labelling, the European Commission has launched a review study looking into 8 ecodesign product groups. The study, which is ongoing, provides an initial assessment of the possible actions or focus points for the revision of measures developed for washing machines, dishwashers, washer-driers, cold appliances, lighting (non-directional tertiary, and special purpose), set-top boxes and pumps. The aim of the study is to provide the Commission with sufficient information to decide on subsequent activities as regards timing and resources to be allocated to the review. An interim study report was presented to stakeholders on 18 November, with a request to provide comments by 2 December. To see the interim report, please click here.
Deliverables under Mandate M/376 out for approval
Four deliverables, drafted by the CEN/CENELEC/ETSI Joint Working Group, ‘eAccessibility under Mandate M/376’ as part of Phase II of the mandate, are presently out for approval. This phase of the work, co-funded by the European Commission, requires experts to develop a European Standard (EN), online toolkit, and three Technical Reports (TR) to assist public procurement bodies acquire accessible ICT products and services.
The four deliverables are:
FprEN 301 549 'Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe'
FprTR 101 550 'Documents relevant to EN 301 549 Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe'
FprTR 101 551 'Guidelines on the use of accessibility award criteria suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe'
FprTR 101 552 'Guidance for the application of conformity assessment to accessibility requirements for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe'
FprEN 301 549 is out for Formal Vote under ETSI procedures until 27 January 2014. The three TRs will be submitted to a 2 months Technical Committee Approval (TCA) in CEN & CENELEC until 28 January 2014. Having been involved in their development, ANEC has a generally positive opinion of the deliverables.
We need an expert on household appliances and smart grids!
The control of electrical household appliances will be an important element of demand-response schemes and so important to consumers. ANEC will participate in the related standardisation work and is now looking for an expert to represent the consumer interest in IEC TC 59 WG 15.
WG 15 is developing a Technical Specification to set out a reference framework that describes and assesses the performance of household and similar electrical appliances operating under the control of a Customer Energy Manager (which may be connected to a home energy management system or accessible to a remote agent).
Do you have technical expertise in household appliances and an understanding of issues likely to arise from the interaction with a smart grid? If you are interested in representing ANEC in the work of IEC TC 59 WG 15, please send a covering letter and current CV, in English, including reference to relevant work, to firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than 10 January 2014.
For more information, please read the call for expert.
As this is the last edition of the Newsletter in 2013, the ANEC Secretariat wishes you a happy, prosperous and safe holiday season!
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.