PhD in Textile chemistry and fiber sciences
Agent of OEKO-TEX in IRAN
Today, using signs, approvals and standards is one of the essential requirements for an effective presence in domestic and international competitive markets. Highlighting the quality, demonstrating the compatibility of product characteristics with a variety of specialized standards, respecting consumer rights, management and organizational cohesion, environmental protection and social standards are only parts of the intended purpose of using these tools, which lead to the maintenance and expansion of the market and the achievement of the business landscape of credible manufacturing brands. The CE label is one of the most prominent signs that today's global consumers are seeing and familiar with a wide range of products on the market. But what is the CE and how has it come about?
One of the five basic principles of the rights that defined for consumers in the European Union, is the safety and health of the consumer. In 1985, Union countries were seeking a minimum level of product safety and facilitating the flow of goods within a single market in a new approach. In this approach, safety, health and consumer protection have been considered, and it is based on compliance with a set of criteria and the installation of a CE marking for compliance with these requirements for specific groups of goods. This symbol (Abbreviated to the French word Conformité Européne), in the sense of European adaptation, is a kind of product passport in the accession to the European Union, indicating that the product system is approved by the product, and ensures its compliance with the provisions of the relevant guidelines.
The guidelines referenced in this program are based on European harmonized standards or European Technical Approval Guidelines, which provide requirements in the form of technical specifications. Meanwhile, the CE marking allows customs officials and relevant authorities to collect non-conforming products from the EU market.
In this regard, the important question is, whether all products received CE approval are required to install the logo? The answer is no. Essentially, products that could pose a risk to consumer health or the environment are classified according to the regulations in several product subgroups and under specific directions (directives). These sub-groups and guidelines are approved by the committee for the setting-up of standards for European countries, as well as organizations with specialized technical expertise, and include the general rules and final approvals of these committees. One of these directives include construction equipment, medical equipment, electronics, refrigeration and refrigerators, toys, machinery, personal protective equipment, non-automatic measuring equipment, gas equipment, non-military explosives, forklifts, pressure vessels, radio equipment and telecommunications equipment. The final use of a product and its placement in one of the specified product subgroups determines its requirement for having the CE mark and conformance based on the criteria specified in that directory.
Accordingly, products such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food are not subject to CE regulations, although there are other specific rules and regulations for each of these products that are beyond the scope of this article. There is also no specific subgroup or directory for the types of textiles and, accordingly, there is no specific requirement for CE marking in this category. However, there are also certain textile products that may be classified, according to the type of application, in the subgroups of the CE marking categories, such as protective clothing or traffic safety clothing (Luminous or high visibility), which are in the category of equipment for the protection of individual goods (PPE directive 89/686 / EEC) or flexible flooring of textile in the classification of goods that used in buildings (CPD) and in accordance with the directives (89/106 / EEC). In the case of flexible flooring, specifically, products (that called wall to wall) that are used in the form of fixed and installed under the subgroup of construction equipment were required to observe the regulations and are CE marked. The essential characteristics of such floors are referred to in the harmonized standard EN 14041 (in different versions), among which the most important of these criteria are fire behavior, hazardous material contents, emissions of volatile organic compounds and volatile organic compounds in closed spaces, etc. Accordingly, other types of textile flooring (types of carpets, rugs, etc.), machine or hand-made, under the definition and coverage of product instructions, does not require a CE mark unless the manufacturer claims to have a specific feature in the product (such as fireproof) which has the potential to create a risk to the consumer. In these cases, it is clear that the class of fire goods in accordance with EN 13501-1 is a requirement for the installation of the CE marking, indicating that the fire symbol must be included in the marking format of the goods. Therefore, the use of the CE mark on commodities such as the types of carpets not only does not convey specific qualities or qualitative concepts, but may reflect a view that is not desirable by the producer. Another point is the correct form of the CE mark. As you can see in the picture, the CE mark of the European Union and the Chinese export badge are very similar for any reason, which makes it more important to pay more attention to the inclusion and correct use of this mark on colorful products. It should be noted that today the international standards and indications of the common language of communication are considered in global markets and it is essential to use these tools in a conscious and correct manner.