French Decree 91-1292: Everything you need to know about Type Examination
Children are the most vulnerable end users of consumer products. Uniquely in Europe, France has been the first country to recognise this. In 1991 French Decree 91-1292 was introduced specifically to protect children under the age of four from risks linked to child care articles.
French Decree 91-1292 was published before Europe’s General Product Safety Directive existed. Although this Directive relates to many product categories, the French Decree is only applicable to child care products as defined in the regulation.
Covering products intended to facilitate seating, washing, sleeping, transport, movement and physical protection of children under four years old, the decree is not applicable to toys, bottles, plates or cutlery. Feeding equipment, for example, is not included as it is covered by food contact material regulations.
MARK OF CONFORMITY
Before you can sell products that are subject to the decree in France, they must undergo testing in accordance with the applicable standard when published, or a Type Examination, achieve a Certificate of Conformity and display the ‘Conforme aux Exigences de Securite’ mark. Unlike toys CE marking is not required.
APPLICATION OF TYPE EXAMINATION
Type examinations are used when:
- No applicable standard has been published.
- A standard exists, but is not published in the French Official Journal (this may be a French or European standard).
- A product is covered by a standard but it has an additional function that is not covered by it, or by any other published standard.
- A product is a combination of two products and creates an additional risk, or characteristic, that is not covered by applicable standards.
- A product meets an applicable standard, but still presents a risk.
For every function covered by the Decree there are products on the market for which no standard is published yet, such as for transport: additional platforms or umbrellas for pushchairs / strollers; for sleeping: suspended baby beds, baby positioners or even bed guards; for seating: cushions for high chairs; for cleaning and hygiene: bath tubs and stands or baby bathing aids such as bath rings; for early learning: infant swings.
All these products should be subject to type examination procedure.
PROCESS OF TYPE EXAMINATION
The process is planned and drafted by a Ministry of Industry approved organisation, such as SGS, based on a review of existing regulations, a study of accident data and research into applicable standards or requirements.
The resulting product protocol describes the rationale of the procedure, risk analysis and test programme. The client approves all this, as responsibility for the safety of a product that meets the requirement of the protocol is theirs.
On successful completion of a Type Examination, a Report and Certificate of Conformity are issued.
Broken down into five categories, the requirements of the Decree are: general principles, mechanical and physical properties, flammability, chemical properties and hygiene.
VALIDITY OF A TYPE EXAMINATION
Type Examination is valid for one model of a product only. Therefore, regular updating of the technical documentation is necessary.
Type Examination is no longer valid if:
- The laboratory modifies the protocol to meet new safety requirements, new standards or in accordance with product recalls and/or accidents.
- Any change is made to the product by the manufacturer.
- A standard is published.
In the event that a new standard is published for a product it will cease to be presumed as complying to the decree but the French authorities will allow manufacturers/importers/distributors one year from the publication date to achieve compliance.
Just five laboratories are approved by France’s Ministry of Industry to issue French Decree 91-1292 Certificates of Conformity, including SGS’s facilities in Aix-en-Provence, France and Bradford, UK.
With a global network of toy experts and two testing facilities in Europe, SGS is the perfect partner to help you sell child care products in France. For more information please contact your local SGS representative or our global team and visit www.sgs.com/juvenileproducts.
For further information, please contact:
Senior Expert, Juvenile Products
SGS CTS France
t +33 4 42 97 72 30
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 75,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,500 offices and laboratories around the world.