Information and Advisory Bodies for Product Safety
Successfully bringing safe products onto the European Single Market
As a manufacturer, authorised representative, importer or trader of products, you are required to adhere to numerous directives, regulations, rules and procedures. This is not always an easy task, and we will be delighted to help you with it.
Bringing only safe products onto the European Single Market requires a certain amount of effort. This page provides you with a list of information and advisory bodies that can provide you with advice and assistance on all aspects of your product.
- Authority Search on ICSMS
- Modern Work Competence Network (Kompetenznetzwerk Moderne Arbeit)
- Label online
- DIN Consumer Council
- Commission for Occupational Health and Safety and Standardization (KAN)
- Product Contact Points
Authority Search on ICSMS
The “Authority Search” service of the internet-supported information and communication system for pan-European market surveillance (ICSMS) can be a useful resource for questions about the requirements for making a product available on the market. “Authority Search” is an information platform for consumers, business and authorities.
If you enter the postal code and Member State (both for Germany and for other Member States) into the search form, you will find all of the authorities that are responsible for product safety in your region or in the region you selected. If you also select the European or national directive, regulation, etc. that applies or might apply to your product, the system shows you the competent authority, along with its address, email address, website and area of responsibility.
Modern Work Competence Network (Kompetenznetzwerk Moderne Arbeit)
The Modern Work Competence Network (Kompetenznetzwerk Moderne Arbeit, KomNet) supports businesses, workers, works councils and anyone else looking for advice on any aspect of safety and health at work and consumer protection. KomNet is a service network made up of over 100 specialist organisations, including public institutions, associations, scientific institutions and consultancies. KomNet therefore provides access to the technical knowledge and experience of hundreds of proven experts.
One option is to search the KomNet knowledge database independently. If your search is unsuccessful, you can also contact the experts directly by email or telephone.
When it comes to safety, many consumers rely on test symbols or quality seals. But who knows exactly who or what is behind the test symbols? You can find reliable information and specific assessments at label-online.de. With several hundred entries, this is Europe’s largest label portal and is provided by VERBRAUCHER INITIATIVE e. V., the German Association of Critical Consumers, with support from the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).
In this context, the term “label” includes a wide range of word marks and graphical symbols that are placed on a product or its packaging. For example, these can include trademarks, quality seals, approval marks, regional labels, test labels or eco-labels. Labels are supposed to indicate specific qualities of products and services, including, for example, in the area of safety and health.
DIN Consumer Council
Products and services affect the day-to-day lives of consumers, who should therefore have a say when normative specifications are being drawn up in relation to the safety and quality of products and services.
In Germany, this role is performed by the DIN Consumer Council, which sees itself as an advocate for the interests of non-commercial end consumers on standardisation committees. On the DIN Consumer Council’s website, you can find out about the standardisation status of consumer goods, for example, or about how consumers’ interests are represented in standardisation.
Commission for Occupational Health and Safety and Standardization (KAN)
The Commission for Occupational Health and Safety and Standardization (KAN) observes standardisation work and represents the interests of occupational safety and health (OSH). The institutions participating in KAN include social partners, the State, the German Statutory Accident Insurance (DGUV) and DIN. KAN collectively represents OSH interests in opinions on standardisation projects. However, KAN only issues recommendations and is therefore not a standardisation body.
On KAN’s website, you will find information on the Commission’s activities, for example in the area of general product safety and the safety of construction products, pressure equipment, machinery or personal protective equipment. In addition, KAN explains how standards are created and how you can quickly track down specific standards.
EUROSHNET is a communication platform in English that is already used by several hundred European OSH experts and institutions as a forum for exchanging information and for discussion.
It focuses on European and international OSH topics from the areas of standardisation, testing and certification, as well as on associated research, for example into machine safety, personal protective equipment or chemical hazards. At the heart of the network are the Internet forums, broken down into separate topics, where experts can access, distribute or discuss information on all aspects of safety and health at work.
Product Contact Points
Regulation (EC) no. 764/2008 of the European Parliament and Council on the determination of processes in respect to the application of specific national technical regulations for products which have been legally marketed in another member state stipulates the establishing of Product Contact Points.
Their task is to provide information about products for which no uniform regulations have so far been made throughout Europe. In particular, this includes information about the currently valid national product regulations and the resulting requirements for products without harmonisation legislation.
In Germany, product information about food, agricultural and fishery products, as well as about food contact materials, is issued by the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE). Enquiries regarding all products are to be addressed to the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM).