In June 2018, Niels Ebbe Jacobsen succeeded Guido Adriaenssens as CEO of ICRT (International Consumer Research & Testing). On 21 February, we were delighted to welcome Niels to the ANEC Secretariat in Brussels for first discussions on a new and deeper collaboration. Standards and testing go hand-in-hand, and both ICRT and ANEC are committed to improving consumer protection and welfare.

Niels enjoyed a constructive exchange with Senior Manager, Chiara Giovannini, and Senior Programme Manager, Tania Vandenberghe.

ANEC Secretary-General, Stephen Russell, will meet Niels later in the year as part of the planning of the next ANEC strategy.

From left to right: Tania Vandenberghe, ANEC senior Programme Manager, Niels Ebbe Jacobsen, Chief Executive ICRT, Chiara Giovannini, ANEC Senior Manager

From left to right: ANEC Senior Programme Manager, Tania Vandenberghe; Chief Executive, ICRT; Niels Ebbe Jacobsen; ANEC Senior Manager, Chiara Giovannini



New D-G of Consumers International

ANEC welcomes Helena Leurent as the new Director General of CI, taking over the role from Amanda Long. Helena is currently a member of the Executive Committee at World Economic Forum and has led their work on membership, government engagement and business development, as well as global initiatives on agriculture and the future of manufacturing. 

She has held several executive positions, including ‘Managing Director and Head of Business Engagement’ where she managed existing relationships with the WEF’s Members and generated new value propositions for partnerships with companies in emerging markets.

She will start in post on 1 April 2019.

Helena Leurent, new DG of Consumers International

 © Consumers International (https://bit.ly/2ECDh8F)


Domestic Appliances

Revision of the Machinery Directive

On 11 February, ANEC welcomed the European Commission (EC) inception impact assessment of the revision of the Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC).

In our opinion, the Directive has generally worked well in providing a sufficient level of safety for consumers in the EU, as well as aiding the free movement of machinery products. Consumers benefit from the greater choice of products and from competition. However, some limitations can still be observed. We agree that the Machinery Directive needs updating to improve safety levels further and take account of the latest IT innovations.

ANEC therefore supports turning the Directive into a Regulation and aligning it with the New Legislative Framework, addressing aspects related to emerging digital technologies, e.g. AI, cybersecurity, IoT.

On 26 February, ANEC Senior Manager, Chiara Giovannini, participated at the EC Machinery Directive WG meeting. She presented ANEC's position on the Machinery Directive, focusing on artificial intelligence and connected products, further to her participation at the EC HLG AI meeting on 14 February.

ANEC reply to the EC Inception Impact Assessment on the Revision of the Machinery Directive

Workshop on the evaluation of the LVD

On 8 February, ANEC Senior Programme Manager, Tania Vandenberghe, joined the Low Voltage Directive Working Party (LVD-WP) Workshop on evaluation of the LVD, where its understanding, implementation and enforcement were discussed.

As with the Machinery Directive, we believe the LVD, which covers the safety of electrical household products, has worked well enough in providing a good level of protection for consumers. Nevertheless, it could be improved to reflect the state-of-the-art. This includes amending the scope of the LVD so it would encompass very low voltage products, such as lithium batteries below 50V. In addition, as many new products make use of technological innovation, the scope of the Directive must be updated to reflect the concept of ‘security for safety’, in order to address cybersecurity and the data security of connected products.

The evaluation started in 2018 with stakeholder interviews and an online survey. The public consultation is still running and the final adoption of the ‘Staff Working Document’ is expected by the end of 2019.

ANEC will prepare a response to the public consultation by 4 April 2019.



Eco-design of household appliances

Following a successful partnership over the past two years, ANEC will continue to work with ECOS during 2019 on Eco-design and standardisation of energy-related projects. Since December 2016, ANEC has enhanced the effective participation and contribution of consumers to standardisation processes related to the Eco-design and Energy Labelling Directives.

In 2019, ANEC plans to focus on covering standardisation work for product groups of high consumer relevance in CENELEC/TC 59X ‘Performance of household and similar electrical appliances’, specifically vacuum cleaners, household dishwashers and household laundry appliances.

Dishes on dishwasher



How well regulated are materials in contact with food?

The EC has launched a public consultation in the context of the ongoing evaluation of EU Food Contact Materials legislation. The consultation is divided in two parts: one addressed to individual citizens and the second to stakeholders or experts with knowledge of the food contact materials legislation and working in the field. The aim of the consultation is to gather views and evidence on the functioning of the legislation, and the requirements set for businesses and public authorities.

ANEC invited its members to contribute to the consultation and to share it at the national level. The survey is available in all official languages of the EU and is open until 6 May 2019. We will ask for stronger legislation in line with our position paper on implementation of the Food Contact Materials Regulation.

EU food contact material symbol


EU food contact material symbol. It indicates that the material used in the product is considered safe for contact with food. It is found on food and water containers, packaging materials, cutlery etc.


Digital Society

A new standard for consumer IoT security

ANEC helped draft the first globally-applicable technical specification for consumer IoT security, ETSI TS 103 645. The standard was published in February to establish a security baseline for internet-connected consumer products and provide a basis for future IoT certification schemes.

We believe the benefits of IoT can be achieved only if products and services are designed with trust, privacy and security built and so able to reassure consumers that they are safe and secure to use. The standard focuses on the technical and organisational controls that matter most in addressing significant and widespread security-shortcomings, and ANEC trusts it will become the landmark specification for consumers and industry alike.

For more information, see the standard here.

ANEC key note on smart cities standards

As part of the final conference of the PROGRESSIVE project, held in Brussels at the end of January, our expert, Nikolaos Floratos, presented the work of the ETSI Special Task Force (STF) 561 ‘Smart cities and communities: standardization to meet citizen and consumer requirements’. The STF, created within ETSI TC ‘Human Factors’, is led by ANEC Digital Society WG Chair, John Ketchell.

ETSI STF 561 is working on the development of a Technical Report that will assess the different citizen-related issues which smart city-related standardisation in the ICT domain needs to address. The TR is expected by October 2019. The team is now looking for contributions from interested stakeholders including standardisers, policy-makers and representatives of cities themselves. If you wish to participate, the survey is at the link: http://bit.ly/2RTY4YL

ANEC expert Nikos Floratos presenting at ETSI STF

ANEC expert Nikos Floratos giving the presentation at Progressive final conference

Consultation on common chargers

Following the EC consultation on the possible adoption of a Delegated Act to make common chargers for mobile phones and other devices mandatory, ANEC renews its support for the regulatory option that aims to make common charging solutions mandatory.

We believe a common external power supply for mobile phones and other devices would cut unnecessary costs for consumers in their direct (or implied) purchase, and aid the environment by reducing the extraction of the raw materials for their construction, and lessening the damage caused by their disposal.

Our reply to the consultation is at the following link: http://bit.ly/2T3WdWX




Future of the postal services sector

On 29 January, at ‘Delivering for the Future: a Workshop on Developments in the Postal Sector’, the results of the study, ‘Development of cross-border e-commerce through parcel delivery’ were presented. A further study, ‘User needs in the postal sector’ was launched. Both studies are carried out for the EC by Wik-Consult.

Participants learned about how e-commerce and parcel markets develop in Europe and could share their views on how to adapt to the present and future challenges in the sector. Sustainability and the international dimensions were also addressed.

ANEC asked how tracking systems could be improved, as the effective tracking of parcels can prevent typical consumer complaints. We also noted the contribution that could be made by CEN/TS 15472 ‘Postal services - Method for measurement of parcel transit time for cross-border parcels within the EU & EFTA using Tracking and Tracing’.

Separately, the EC presented the next steps in the evaluation of the adequacy of the Postal Services Directive and implementation of Regulation 2018/644 on cross border parcel delivery services.

A real services single-market

On 21 February, the European Business Services Alliance (EBSA) hosted an event to present a manifesto on its priorities for the next EU legislative mandate. Besides a proper implementation of the services legislation to achieve a real single market, businesses see a role for European services standards in ensuring a common understanding, and in increasing trust in cross-border service provision. We share this view and agree on the need for the services standards under development in CEN/TC 447 ‘Horizontal standards for the provision of services’ to be beneficial for the stakeholders in the services sector.

The EBSA Chair recalled key data for the services sector: services account for 70% of EU GDP, and employment and business services alone for around 12%, a full implementation and better enforcement of the Services Directive could add 2% to GDP.

In a keynote speech, Robert Strauss, Head of Unit, Services for Consumers at DG GROW, highlighted that the internal market will remain a high priority for the EC. There is common understanding that the single market for services is not working as well it could and the untapped benefits need to be realised. He referred to the EC Communication “The Single Market in a changing world. A unique asset in need of renewed political commitment”.


Traffic & Mobility

Safer roads on the horizon

On the 21 February, the IMCO committee of the European Parliament voted on the package of vehicle safety and pedestrian protection measures known as the General Safety Regulation. ANEC joined the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) in welcoming the result of the vote but also noted that time is running out for a final agreement on this key legislation before the Parliamentary elections in May 2019.

Ahead of the vote, ANEC had signed a coalition letter led by ETSC noting that there had been calls from some stakeholders to remove or weaken certain elements of the proposal. In the letter, we briefly explain why this would be highly damaging to the effectiveness and life-saving potential of the proposed package of measures.

Negotiations with Council are expected to start shortly For news, follow the Twitter tags #LastNightTheEUSavedMyLife, #GeneralSafetyRegulation and #SaferRoads.

Signatories of the coalition letter

 Coalition Members-Signatories of the letter



In memory of Michael Cassar

It is with great sadness that we learned Michael Cassar, Director of Market Surveillance at the Maltese Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority and Chairman of the Board of Prosafe,  passed away last 1 March 2019. https://goo.gl/Gp9YD8

Our thoughts go to his family and friends.

Michael Cassar

© PROSAFE (https://goo.gl/Gp9YD8)




List of comments 2019

List of meetings 2019

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