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New EU Textile Regulations
A new EU Regulation concerning textile fibre names and related labelling and marking of the fibre composition of textile products will be implemented in the UK, and across the EU, on 8th May 2012.
This Regulation (1007/2011) replaces three existing textile labelling Directives with a single Regulation which should make it easier and quicker to cope with technical innovation in the future. The process for applying for, approval of, and adoption of a new fibre name has been simplified and so will hopefully speed up the process.
The requirements for labelling of textiles are largely similar to current legislation but with an additional requirement to label non-textile parts of animal origin.
As the Regulation will be directly applicable in the UK there will be no need for UK legislation to transpose the Regulation into UK law - but the UK will have to withdraw a number of existing UK textile labelling regulations:
• Textile Products (Indications of Fibre Content) Regulations 1986 SI 1986/26
• Textile Products (Indications of Fibre Content) (Amendment) Regulations 1988 SI 1998/1169
• Textile Products (Indications of Fibre Content) (Amendment) Regulations 1994 SI 1994/450
• Textile Products (Determination of Composition) Regulations 2008 SI 2008/15
• Textile Products (Indications of Fibre Content) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 SI 2008/6
• Textile Products (Indications of Fibre Content) (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2009 SI 2009/1034
In terms of furniture products the Regulations state that the labelling requirements apply to:
'Furniture, umbrella and sunshade coverings containing at least 80 % by weight of textile components'
FIRA has spoken to BIS, the UK government department with responsibility for the regulations, and can confirm that currently the interpretation of this statement will remain in line with that for the current regulations. That is that furniture products will only need to be labelled in accordance with the regulations if the weight of the textiles used in a product is more than 80% of the total product weight. In general this will mean that most furniture will not need to comply.
The regulations and thus labelling requirements will, however, apply to mattress coverings and the coverings of camping goods.
More information, and a copy of the Regulations, can be found on the EU Europa website http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/textiles/single-market/textiles-names-legislation/reg-1007-1011/index_en.htm
BIS is currently consulting on enforcement powers and penalties. The current legislation is enforced under the Trade Descriptions Act, with penalties of unlimited fines on conviction on indictment, and up to 2 years imprisonment. BIS are however looking at aligning the penalties with the Footwear Labelling regulations, which would remove the imprisonment penalty.
T: 01438 777 730
10th February 2012