The implementation of EU Regulation on Market Surveillance and Compliance of Products (Regulation (EU) 2019/1020) is aimed to prevent any non-compliant products from being placed on the EU market and sold to EU consumers.

SAFEGUARDS | SoftlinesNO. 110/20

 SG 11020 Shoes2

The Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 on market surveillance and compliance of products published in the Official Journal of the European Union (EU) on June 25, 2019 (SafeGuardS 97/19), will apply on July 16, 2021 with the exception of a few provisions. It strengthens and modernises market surveillance of non-food products in order to protect citizens from unsafe and non-compliant products. Thus, all products that are placed on the European market are manufactured to ensure safety and compliance with EU harmonized legislation.

On July 1, 2020, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced that its inspectors will check products for compliance with restrictions for selected hazardous substances under REACH. The inspectors will also check whether products comply with restrictions for the presence of persistent organic pollutants defined under the POPs Regulation. Specific substances to be checked will be decided in 2021 and may potentially include phthalates or PFOS. Inspections will be carried out for specific types of materials such as rubber, plastic or textiles (SafeGuardS 102/20). According to the announcement, the enforcement will be prepared in 2021, with inspections to be carried out in 2022 and the report expected in late 2023.

Generally, apparel, footwear and accessory products containing restricted substances that exceed required limits are among the product categories most frequently reported in the European market by market surveillance authorities and notified in the RAPEX system. The newly introduced Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 gives member state authorities additional power to ensure products in the EU market are compliant with harmonized legislation. The provisions on market surveillance of the Regulation apply to all product categories subject to EU harmonization legislations listed in Annex I, including but not limited to below regulations that apply to apparel, footwear and accessory products. Non-conforming products may subject to withdrawal or recall from the EU market.

  • Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)
    • Annex XVII to Regulation (EC) 1907/2006
      • Entry 72 for CMR substances in clothing, textiles and footwear (SafeGuardS 73/18)
      • Entry 51 for phthalates (SafeGuardS 02/19)
  • Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) under the POPs recast Regulation (SafeGuardS 95/19), including PFOA (SafeGuardS 54/20)

Recently, the EU RAPEX issued multiple notifications of non-conformity of textile and footwear products with the REACH Regulation (RAPEX Weekly Reports):

  • Neoprene textile products with excessive amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are not compliant with the REACH Regulation. PAHs substances may cause cancer and are also mutagenic and toxic for reproduction. Products identified as non-conforming were withdrawn from the market and recalled from end users.

Leather components in shoes and gloves with excessive amount of Chromium (VI) that are not compliant with REACH Regulation. Chromium (VI) is a sensitizer, and can trigger allergic reactions and can cause cancer. Products identified as non-conforming were rejected at borders and withdrawn from the EU market.

SGS Global Softlines has an extensive network of over 40 laboratories worldwide, with a strong team of committed professionals from multi-disciplinary backgrounds. Our internationally accredited state-of-the-art testing laboratories offer a comprehensive range of physical, chemical and functional testing services for components, materials and finished products. We help your company ensure quality, performance and compliance with international, industrial and regulatory standards worldwide. Discover more at

For enquiries, please contact:

Louann Spirito
Consumer and Retail — Softlines
US & Canada Softlines Business Head
t: +1 973 461 7919

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