Spanish Seating Market: SOIVRE Reminder
Before consumer goods are allowed onto the Spanish market, they may be inspected by SOIVRE – Servicio Oficial de Inspección, Vigilancia y Regulación de las Exportaciones.
Working alongside customs on the borders, they are responsible for ensuring products are safe and compliant with Spanish regulations. Seating manufacturers need to make sure their products comply with the right SOIVRE requirements to successfully gain access to the market.
Created by Royal Decree 330/2008, SOIVRE – in English, the Official Service of Surveillance, Certification and Technical Assistance of Foreign Trade – is in charge of inspecting consumer goods being brought onto the Spanish market. It reports to Agencia Española de Consumo, Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición (AECOSAN), the primary contact point for RAPEX at Spain, and works closely with AENOR.
AENOR is a private, not-for-profit organization that promotes standardization and certification in all industries. Similarly, it was created by Royal Decree in 1986 and was recognized as a standards agency by Royal Decree 2200/1995. AENOR is a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC).
Office Chairs for the Workplace or Home
According to EN 1728, the working chair is defined as:
“Chair, with or without arm rests, for use by one adult in the office or home (for example working with a computer), whose upper part, which includes the seat and back, is supposed on a single column and can rotate in the horizontal plane and is at least adjustable in height”
The two following standards presumed to give conformity to the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) 2001/95/CE, are:
- EN 1335-1 Office furniture - Office work chair - Part 1: Dimensions - Determination of dimensions
- EN 1335-2 Office furniture - Office work chair - Part 2: Safety requirements
These two standards are applicable whether the chair will be used in the home or the office.
Until recently, SOIVRE was willing to accept the EN 12520 – Domestic seat with additional test for cylinder and castor test for chair with home office use, but they have admitted these requirements were not enough and did not protect the safety of the user ergonomically. SOIVRE gave importers three years notice of this cancellation, meaning, from September 2018, all work seats, even those used in the home environment, will have to pass EN 1335-1 and EN 1335-2. Stakeholders should be aware a new version of EN 1335-2 will be published this year, with its enforcement in Spain taking place at least six months later.
SOIVRE has applied European Decision 2013/121/UE to give presumption of conformity to the GPSD but this decision does not include any test methods. Therefore, it will accept a report based on a protocol or standard, such as NF D 60 300-1 and NF D 60 300-2, where the laboratory report shows it covers the requirements under 2013/121/UE.
Based on ED 2013/121/UE the European Commission (EC) has mandated the CEN to work on a standard for children’s seat safety. prEN 17191 is expected to be published in the coming year. Once published, this standard will be the reference for seating, even for junior office seating or outdoor seating, with the exception of institutional seating.
There is conflict about standards relating to outdoor furniture as the OJEC cites EN 581-1: 2006 but there is a newer standard – EN 581-1:2017, and without date reference on EN 581-2 and EN 581-3, the applicable one shall be the most up to date version. It should be noted the most up to date version of the standard is substantially the same as its predecessor, with light revisions and a strengthening of safety requirements.
Due to this confusion, SOIVRE will accept reports against the requirements of the older standard and most up to date standards.
Domestic Seating Update
Before the end of 2018, EN 1022 Domestic furniture - Seating - Determination of stability will be updated. EN 12520 and EN 16139 do not mention a dated reference for EN 1022, so both indoor domestic and non-domestic seating will be impacted on publication of EN 1022. As with EN 1335-2, SOIVRE will allow a delay of six months before furniture must conform to the new standard.
Manufacturers and importers are also reminded that electrically operated furniture must conform to the requirements of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC Edition 2.1 – July 2017, including CE marking of the product and there will be an increase in RoHS inspections in 2018.
Traceable Laboratory Reports
At a recent meeting with SGS, SOIVRE reiterated the importance of the laboratory report. They reminded stakeholders that they will be looking for traceability in submitted reports and expect the report to clearly state what is being testing and the deviation especially when a full range of products is tested.
Finally, they are paying special attention to the authenticity of the report to avoid falsely authenticated products entering the Spanish marketplace.
For further information, please contact:
Global Furniture Expert
t: +33 4 42 61 64 47