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Textiles and clothing legislation

Textiles and clothing legislation

The EU has aligned laws in all member countries with Textile Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011 on fibre names and related labelling and marking of the fibre composition of textile products. This was done to protect consumer interests and eliminate potential obstacles to the proper functioning of the internal market.

What’s in the Regulation?

The Regulation was adopted to ensure that citizens, businesses, and public authorities can readily identify their rights and obligations (see background).

The main elements are*:

  • general obligation to state the full fibre composition of textile products;
  • minimum technical requirements for applications for a new fibre name;
  • requirement to indicate the presence of non-textile parts of animal origin;
  • exemption applicable to customised products made by self-employed tailors;
  • Empowerment of the European Commission to adopt delegated acts amending the technical Annexes of the Regulation, in line with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;
  • Reporting on the implementation, review clause, and study on hazardous substances to be undertaken by the Commission.

*This explanatory text is not legally binding and does not express the official position of the European Commission. A list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) is available (73 kB).

Scope of Regulation 1007/2011

According to the Regulation, textile products have to be labelled or marked whenever they are available on the market.

The indication of the fibre composition of a product is mandatory at all stages of the industrial processing and commercial distribution of that product.

All products containing at least 80% by weight of textile fibres, including raw, semi-worked, worked, semi-manufactured, semi-made, and made-up products are covered by the Regulation.

The Regulation does not cover size, country of origin, or wash/care labelling.

Text of the regulation

Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011 was adopted on 27 September 2011 and became applicable on 8 May 2012.

Regulation 1007/2011 on fibre names and related marking of the fibre composition of textile products

Corrigendum

This corrigendum concerns the German version only:

Berichtigung der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 1007/2011 des Europäischen Parlaments und des Rates vom 27. September 2011 über die Bezeichnungen von Textilfasern und die damit zusammenhängende Etikettierung und Kennzeichnung der Faserzusammensetzung von Textilerzeugnissen und zur Aufhebung der Richtlinie 73/44/EWG des Rates und der Richtlinien 96/73/EG und 2008/121/EG des Europäischen Parlaments und des Rates - p. 16 of the Official Journal, L 120, 5 May 2012.

Amendment

Council Regulation (EU) No 517/2013 of 13 May 2013 adapting certain regulations and decisions in the fields of free movement of goods, freedom of movement for persons, company law, competition policy, agriculture, food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy, transport policy, energy, taxation, statistics, trans-European networks, judiciary and fundamental rights, justice, freedom and security, environment, customs union, external relations, foreign, security and defence policy and institutions, by reason of the accession of the Republic of Croatia - see p. 1-71 of the Official Journal, L 158, 10 June 2013.

Delegated Acts: Technical amendments to the Regulation

Under the Regulation, only the textile fibre names listed in Annex I are to be used for the description of fibre composition on the labels and marking of textile products. Adding a new fibre name to Annex I requires a technical amendment to the Regulation through a delegated act by the European Commission.

Up to now, only one fibre name, ‘polypropylene/polyamide bicomponent’, was added to Annex I of the Regulation in accordance with Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 286/2012 of 27 January 2012 amending, in order to include a new textile fibre name, Annex I, and, for the purposes of their adaptation to technical progress, Annexes VIII and IX to Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council on textile fibre names and related labelling and marking of the fibre composition of textile products - see p. 1-6 of the Official Journal, L 95, 31 March 2012.

Corrigendum

This corrigendum concerns the French version only:

Rectificatif au règlement délégué (UE) no 286/2012 de la Commission du 27 janvier 2012 modifiant, afin d’inclure une nouvelle dénomination de fibre textile, l’annexe I et, aux fins de leur adaptation au progrès technique, les annexes VIII et XI du règlement (UE) no 1007/2011 du Parlement européen et du Conseil relatif aux dénominations des fibres textiles et à l’étiquetage et au marquage correspondants des produits textiles - p. 20 of the Official Journal, L 285, 29 October 2013.

Reports adopted under the Textile Regulation

Two reports have been adopted under the Regulation, see Publications.

Applying for a new fibre name

Adding a new fibre name requires that the relevant Annexes of Regulation (EU) No. 1007/2011 are amended. The European Commission will only initiate this process if the amendment appears inevitable due to the need to improve consumer information and/or the proper functioning of the European single market.

Applications may be submitted by manufacturers or a person on their behalf. Applications must include a technical file which fulfils the requirements indicated in Annex II of the Regulation.

Applications from industry

Applicants from companies or industry federations should be aware that Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011 on textile names establishes generic fibre names. A new name is justified only if the fibre cannot be classified into any of the existing groups. Promotion via textile labels of company products as a ‘quasi-marketing measure’ is not allowed under this Regulation.

A written application for an amendment of Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011, together with the technical file, can be sent to:

European Commission
Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and SMEs
Unit F4 ‘Tourism, Emerging and Creative Industries’
B-1049 Bruxelles
Email: GROW-F4@ec.europa.eu

Companies are advised to contact the relevant European industry federation before launching an application. While not formally required, it is helpful if the application is supported by the industry. It is also helpful if a request is supported by consumer organisations.

The Regulation does not foresee that a temporary fibre name will be granted during the transition period, pending the amendment of the Regulation. According to Article 9.5 of the Regulation, fibres not yet listed in Annex I may, however, be designated by the term ‘other fibres’.

Technical file content

The information required to apply for an amendment to Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011 must be in line with the minimum requirements established in Annex II to the Regulation.

Assessment criteria and technical work

Each application and its technical file will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  1. The fibre is radically different from other fibres by chemical composition and/or by fibre properties;
  2. The fibre is detectable and distinguishable from other fibres by standardised test methods;
  3. The fibre is commercially available from at least two independent producers;
  4. A new generic name is justified as the fibre cannot be classified into an existing generic name.

When the applicant proposes one or more methods (applicable to mixtures of the new fibre with other fibres), which are not listed in Annex VIII of the Regulation, validation is required of the proposed new identification and quantification method(s). The purpose is to assess the quality and coherence of results obtained in different laboratories with the same test method(s).

If deemed necessary, samples of the fibre (yarns and/or fabrics) provided by the applicant will undergo a technical analysis of the proposed fibre parameters, such as agreed allowance, correction d factors for loss in mass (to be applied for each method) etc. The purpose is to assess whether the fibre is identifiable and distinguishable from other already existing fibres.

Recent applications

An application for a new generic name for the polyacrylate fibre was submitted by Toyobo of Japan, in January 2014.

Polyacrylate proposed definition: fibre formed by a light metal salt and acid cross-linked acrylate polymer pattern having more than 25% by mass of the acrylate structural part and less than 10% by mass of acrylonitrile.

Complementary information to the technical file has been asked for and the assessment procedure has yet to be completed.

Stakeholders and other interested parties could comment or send information relevant to the current application for polyacrylate fibre by email to GROW-H2@ec.europa.eu, till 31 December 2014.

Background

As far back as the 1970s, the need to align legislation on textile names in Member States was recognised by the European Commission.

Differences in textile fibre names across Member States created a technical barrier to trade in the European single market and hindered consumer interests.

In 1971, a Directive was adopted to harmonise the names of textile products and their labelling on the items themselves and in marketing documents.

That Directive was consolidated into the so-called Textile Directives: 2008/121/EC on textile names, 96/73/EC on certain methods for the quantitative analysis of binary textile fibre mixtures, and 73/44/EEC on the quantitative analysis of ternary fibre mixtures.

In 2006, the Commission decided to revise legislation on textile names again to introduce more flexibility to keep up with the technological developments expected in the industry. In 2009, the Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation on textile names that would replace the Textile Directives.

The new Textile Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011 on textile fibre names and related labelling and marking of the fibre composition of textile products was adopted in September 2011 and became applicable on 8 May 2012. It repealed and replaced the previous Textile Directives.

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