Lead story

ANEC Work Programme 2020

This year, ANEC enters its 26th year of raising standards of protection and welfare for consumers. We are delighted to share with you our encompassing Annual Work Programme which sets out the activities we will be undertaking in 2020. It includes areas of activity under our seven priority areas, as well as those in support of our political and strategic ambitions. Last but not least, we use this opportunity to thank our volunteer experts without whom none of it would be possible. The document is available at the following link

AUWP2020 1



ISO/COPOLCO Chair's Advisory Group

To enable the ISO Consumer Policy Committee (COPOLCO) to contribute as effectively as possible to the implementation of the ISO Strategy 2030, its Chair, Guillermo Zucal (Argentina), has put in place a restructuring of the COPOLCO Chair’s Advisory Group (CAG).

The aim is to transform the CAG into a smaller, strategic committee which develops proposals for the annual COPOLCO plenaries. Membership of the CAG is now personal and not transferrable. Apart from the participation of a limited number of representatives from the national standards bodies among the ISO membership, a select few seats have been made available to other organisations to ensure broad discussion. We are therefore delighted that Jens Henriksson, ANEC Vice-President and a long-standing member of COPOLCO, has been appointed to represent ANEC in the CAG during its 2020/2021 term.

In welcoming Jens’s appointment, ANEC Secretary-General, Stephen Russell, said “it is essential the consumer movement helps to guide ISO in its ambitions to address the environmental, technological and societal challenges now facing the world. The new CAG is a platform to do that and I welcome the appointment of ANEC (and Consumers International) to its membership”.

Mr Zucal will be supported in his role by Sadie Dainton (UK) who has been appointed COPOLCO Vice-Chair.

Portrait Jens


Child Safety

Revision of M/264 ‘Childcare articles’

During the second half of 2019, an Ad Hoc Group under the European Commission’s Consumer Safety Network started work on the revision of mandate M/264 ‘Childcare articles’. Although the AHG is open to Member States only, ANEC has submitted a preliminary written contribution on the revision, along with other stakeholders.

In ANEC’s opinion, the general requirements in the mandate need to be complemented by specific requirements for all products or product families with similar characteristics, (to be) identified within (a broadened) scope of the safety requirements. In this respect, the mandate should refer to product functions (e.g. seating, body care, sleeping) not specific products. Existing safety requirements, such as those established for certain seats for children or consumer-mounted child-resistant locking devices for windows & balcony doors, could suit as models for establishing the specific safety requirements.

The process of drafting safety requirements should involve the identification of the hazards that need to be addressed by the standard. The hazard and risk assessment given in CEN TR 13387 ‘Child Care Articles - General Safety Guidelines’ could help as it enables the level of risk to be assessed. A child's ability must always be the initial starting point when establishing safety requirements, not the product itself.

The requirements should be sufficiently detailed and strict, not only to set up the relevant standards, but to judge at a later stage whether the standards fulfil the demands of the mandate and are therefore suitable for referencing in the OJEU. 

We also called on the Commission and  Member States to consider chemical requirements as an issue of highest priority in the revision of M/264. We further agreed to make the age range covered by the mandate less precise in order for more products to be addressed, and recommended that the mandate also covers ‘combined products’ (e.g. a changing unit on top of a cot), as new hazards can be created when products are combined. Finally, we stressed the importance of keeping accessibility issues in mind, and for there to be coordination and consultation with experts on child development and public health who could provide invaluable contributions to the revision of M/264. 


EN 301 549 V3.1.1 (2019-11) published

ANEC welcomes the publication of EN 301 549 V3.1.1 ‘Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services’, having been contributing to the standard since the drafting of its original version. 

The standard is the work of the CEN/CENELEC/ETSI Joint Working Group ‘eAccessibility’ and ETSI TC Human Factors. As a Harmonised European Standard, it will offer presumption of conformity to the Web Accessibility Directive (Directive (EU) 2016/2012) regarding the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies.

This new version of the standard includes several new elements, such as WCAG triple A, RealTimeText interoperability, and ICT with video capabilities.

Domestic Appliances

EEPLIANT3 Advisory Board meeting

June 2019 saw the launch of EEPLIANT3, a pan-EU market surveillance action to check the compliance of products with legislation on energy efficiency. The action runs until May 2023 and is funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.

On 12 December, ANEC Senior Programme Manager, Tania Vandenberghe, attended the first meeting of the EEPLIANT3 Advisory Board. The Board comprises stakeholders representing European business associations, consumer associations, environmental & other NGOs, end-user associations, standards bodies, certification and test laboratories, the European Commission and other European institutions.

The meeting discussed the EEPLIANT3 work plan, the expectations of Advisory Board members, and how to work collectively in achieving the action’s goals.

It was agreed the market surveillance authorities participating in EEPLIANT3 will inspect and test the energy labelling & energy efficiency of air conditioners, ventilation units, tumble dryers, water heaters, local space heaters and lighting. ANEC will follow this work as a stakeholder.

More information on EEPLIANT3 can be found at http://www.eepliant.eu/.


ANEC Sustainability WG meets

The annual meeting of the ANEC Sustainability WG was held in Brussels on 3‑4 December.

The meeting welcomed two speakers from DG ENV whose presentations enabled a fruitful exchange of views with members chemicals legislation, as well as on the EC’s approach to the Circular Economy.

Members also welcomed a presentation by EurEau Secretary-General, Oliver Loebel, who spoke about the positive developments in the revision of the Drinking Water Directive, a revision on which ANEC has worked.

Our thanks to Test-Achats for their kindness in hosting the meeting.

Sustainability WG 3 4 December 2019 group photo


The European Green Deal

In December the European Commission unveiled its Communication on the European Green Deal. The Deal is to cover all sectors of the economy but notably transport, energy, agriculture, buildings, and industries such as steel, cement, ICT, textiles & chemicals. The Communication was accompanied by a roadmap with actions.

With a view to ensuring a toxic-free environment, the Green Deal announces the EC will present a chemicals strategy for sustainability. This is expected by summer 2020. ANEC welcomes that, when talking of better protecting citizens and the environment against hazardous chemicals, the document mentions, “this can be achieved by simplifying and strengthening the legal framework. We trust this strengthening of the legal framework will tackle the gaps in legislation we identified in our position paper, 'Hazardous chemicals in products - The need for enhanced EU regulations'.

The Communication also announced a “Sustainable products initiatives” to be included in the next Circular Economy Action Plan, with focus on textiles, construction, electronics and plastics. It will also include “measures to encourage businesses to offer, and allow consumers to choose, reusable, durable and repairable products”.

ANEC comments on EC roadmap

In December, the European Commission issued a Roadmap for the New Circular Economy Action Plan due by March 2020. It identifies the problems the new Circular Economy Action Plan intends to tackle and gives broad indications of the initiatives and activities.

Stakeholders were invited to comment on the roadmap until mid-January. ANEC set out its views in its comments on the Roadmap for a new Circular Economy Action Plan. In our comments, we highlight that the focus needs to be moved from the end-of-life phase to a reduction of environmental impacts, while the chemical safety of products needs to be enhanced. We also stress that information on the environmental footprint of a product is insufficient alone to empower consumers to make sustainable choices.


Horizontal standards on durability and reparability

ANEC welcomes the adoption by CEN-CENELEC of horizontal standards on durability (EN 45552) and repair, reuse and upgrade of energy-related products (EN 45554).

The standards result from the work of CEN-CENELEC/JTC 10 ‘Material Efficiency Aspects for Ecodesign' in which ANEC participates. EN 45552, the standard on durability, in outlining a general reliability and durability assessment procedure, notes there might be trade-offs between durability and reparability, because a design feature that supports durability and reliability could hinder easy repair.

The publication of the standards mean that the series of material-efficiency standards responding to mandate M/543 will soon be complete. This standards are intended to aid the introduction of ecodesign requirements for material-efficiency aspects of energy-related products, as well as future development of product-specific methodologies and standards on material-efficiency.

ANEC joins new CENELEC WG on material efficiency

ANEC attended the first meeting of CENELEC/TC 59X/WG23 in December 2019. At the meeting, the title of WG was agreed as ‘Material efficiency of household and similar electrical appliances’.

This changed the proposed title - replacing “resource” by “material” - as “resource” has a broader meaning (e.g. also covering energy, water). The WG expects a Standardisation Request to be issued in March 2020, with adoption planned for June 2020.

The creation of the WG notes that resource efficiency requirements are already being considered by the EC for a variety of products, including vacuum cleaners and dishwashers. Linked to this work is a study in the BeNeLux context evaluating options to extend the product life time (available here) which provides useful research material related to the repairability of domestic appliances. It is also the case that the EC’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has been working on repairability criteria.

Digital Society

Final event of standICT project

The StandICT.eu Project held its final event, “Reflections & Sustainability - 24 Months On”, on 5 December in Brussels at the premises of DG CONNECT. The project was set up to support and provide funding to European experts willing to contribute to global ICT standardisation efforts.

By supporting European experts, the project strengthened European presence in the international ICT standardisation scene. The final event was attended by over 70 people.

ANEC Digital Society WG members, Rusné Juozapaitiené (ETSI TC Cyber & StandICT.eu grantee) and Amelia Andersdotter (ANEC data protection specialist & StandICT.eu grantee), joined two of the panel discussions. Rusné participated in Panel 3 – the role of SMEs, SDOs and PPPs for a more effective standards adoption - and stressed “too many international standards are still released without a proper adaptation to European needs”. Amelia took part in Panel 2 – StandICT.eu: a reliable support to make an impact on ICT Standardisation – and noted the importance of StandICT.eu in helping societal stakeholders overcome the “mechanical, technical and strategic challenges to join the standardisation playground”.

ANEC believes the project achieved unique success by putting European ICT standards expertise on the world map. We therefore urge the European Commission to consider its continuation.

Open meeting on smart cities and communities

ETSI, in partnership with ANEC, hosted an open meeting on smart cities and communities in Brussels on 11 December. The meeting discussed how standardisation can help meet citizen and consumer requirements, as usability, accessibility and data security are often not addressed in the conversation around smart cities.

Discussion focused on the draft Technical Report prepared by the ETSI Human Factors Technical Committee, and its recommendations regarding existing and future standardisation work concerning citizens and smart cities or communities.

With ANEC Digital Society WG Chair, John Ketchell, acting as moderator, the meeting was opened by ANEC Secretary-General, Stephen Russell, who spoke about the role standards can play in achieving economic and societal transformation. Deputy Secretary-General, Chiara Giovannini, participated in a panel discussion on the recommendations of the draft Technical Report.

The conclusions of the open meeting will be taken forward in the further development of the Technical Report.

ETSI open meeting

Enquiry open on ETSI EN 303 645 V2.0.0

The public enquiry on ETSI EN 303 645 V2.0.0 (2019-11) ‘Cyber Security for Consumer Internet of Things’ is open until 24 February 2020. It is available at this link.

Although ANEC supports the principle of the standard, we intend to propose in our comments that several provisions which are now only recommendations become normative (mandatory).

OCEANIS Think Piece

ANEC contributed to a Think Piece, 'The Role of Standards in Facilitating Innovation While Addressing Ethics and Value in Autonomous and Intelligent Systems', now published on the website of OCEANIS (the Open Community for Ethics in Autonomous and Intelligent Systems).


ISO work on the sharing economy

ANEC expert, Antoine Champion, attended the 2nd plenary meeting on ISO TC 324 ‘Sharing Economy’ in Toronto on 9-11 December. The aim of the meeting was to continue work on the Draft International Standard ISO/WD 24561 “Sharing Economy — Terminology and Principles”, with special attention to definitions and principles to be included.

Antoine spoke on the matters of particular concern to consumers, including responsibility & transparency of the platforms, security & safety, complaints handling, and the environmental & ethical considerations. He added our regret at the decision to exclude bike-sharing from the scope of the standard.

Antoine also spoke in the session, Standards and the Sharing Economy - Understanding the Connection, during an event hosted by the Ryerson CSR Institute alongside the ISO meeting. Seven speakers presented their perspectives on standards and the sharing economy. Its conclusions will be considered during the standardisation work.



News from ANEC member countries


All in ANEC were shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Francis E Farrugia at the beginning of December. Francis was a former member of the ANEC General Assembly and Steering Committee. He continued to represent ANEC in the European Accreditation Advisory Board (EAAB).

Francis had a distinguished career in Malta as an both an academic and civil servant, including eleven years as Executive Chair of the Malta Standards Authority, and two years as Executive Chair of the Malta Competition & Consumer Affairs Authority.

Our deepest condolences go to his family and friends.




List of comments 2020

List of meetings 2020


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