News and News Archive

Requirements concerning the safety of consumer goods and other products are constantly changing due to the advancement of scientific knowledge and its implementation by legislative bodies. Hermes Hansecontrol ensures that you are up-to-date on all current topics. You can also find current information on projects by Hermes Hansecontrol here.

News Octobre 2015

The European REACh chemical regulation for substances of very high concern (SVHC) in articles defines extensive duties to provide information and notification. As soon as an article contains more than 0.1 percent by mass of a substance classified as of very high concern for the environment and health due to carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic for reproduction or possessing other equally harmful properties such as those affecting the hormone system, manufacturers or importers must notify ECHA, the European Chemicals Agency. Each supplier is also obligated to provide information to buyers and consumers alike. Thus far, the limit of 0.1 percent by mass only applied for assembled articles such as computers, bikes or footwear. However, they often comprise stand-alone subassemblies – for example, the computer case, the bike handle or the shoe sole. On September 10, 2015, the European Court of Justice issued a ruling describing how the term “Article” is to be interpreted.

According to the current ruling of the European Court of Justice, any article that is part of an assembled article falls under the duty to provide notice and information in accordance with Article 33 of the REACh Regulation if it contains a substance of very high concern in a concentration exceeding 0.1 percent by mass. In so doing, the European Court of Justice is following the assessment of Germany as well as five other countries in confirming the principle of “once an article – always an article”. In the future, therefore, the importer of a bicycle will also be viewed as the importer of the handle fitted on the bicycle and must ensure to receive the corresponding information from the suppliers. At the same time, the duty to provide notice vis-à-vis buyers and consumers of the article is not limited to manufacturers and importers, but also applies for every member of the supply chain that provides an article to a third party. Overall, this ruling strengthens the rights of information for companies and consumers.

However, it remains unclear as to how assembled articles, which cannot be disassembled into individual articles without being “destroyed” will be handled. In this case, it will be decided on a case-by-case basis as to whether the quantity of a candidate substance is relevant e.g. for individual articles welded or soldered into the article or whether the assembled article can also serve as a basis in this case. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) recently announced on September 30 that it will promptly be revising its “Guidelines on Requirements for Substances in Articles” in light of the ruling and will publish new examples, which are compliant with the latest requirements, as an aid.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your responsible contact in sales department or our customer service at the phone number +49 (0) 40 300 33 73 73 10 or by email to: customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

Seminar recommendation:

In our seminar “The ECJ decision concerning articles and its consequences for economic operators” will describe which obligations arise from the new legal situation for various members of the value creation chain. The seminar will provide an overview of the requirements from the REACh regulation and you will learn about the possibilities for obtaining and providing information. The first seminar date is already booked out due to high demand. Hermes Hansecontrol is therefore holding a second seminar on November 20, 2015. You will find all the important information about content and conditions for participation on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at +49 (0) 40 300 33 73 - 1330 or by sending an email to seminaranmeldung@hansecontrol.com.

Metal products that come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin must not release more than 0.5 µg nickel per cm2 and week according to the REACh chemical regulation. A limit of 0.2 µg/cm2/week even applies for piercings inserted in pierced parts of the body. The corresponding test method for measuring the release of nickel is provided for in the EU standard EN 1811. Important changes with respect to the interpretation of test results are laid down in the new edition EN 1811:2011 + A1:2015, which was recently released.

In view of existing uncertainties with respect to the measurement – the variance of the method amounts to 46 percent – all measurements up to 0.88 µg/cm2/week can be viewed as “pass” with a limit of 0.5 µg/cm2/week and comply with the requirements of the REACh regulation. Articles with a limit of 0.2 µg/cm2/week up to a measured nickel release of 0.35 µg/cm2/week pass the test de facto. The new regulation eliminates the “inconclusive” valuation category. In practice, this results in less stringent limits – compared to the standard to date, higher limits may be found to be acceptable. It may be assumed that the respective limit is formally deemed to have been met for measured values under 0.88 µg nickel/cm²/week or 0.35 µg nickel/cm²/week.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your responsible contact in sales department or our customer service at the phone number +49 (0) 40 300 33 73 73 10 or by email to: customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

Cultivating expertise in the field of quality assurance is becoming increasingly important for companies in the consumer goods industry. Hermes Hansecontrol is also offering certified, university-level further training in 2016 as a quality manager specifically aimed at (aspiring) specialists and managers at companies. This training is being offered in partnership with the EB Cert which oversees the operations of the University/Further Education (UFE) educational initiative. According to the Hamburg Law on Educational Leave (HmbBUG), it is recognized as further education, meaning that employees may claim educational leave to this end.

The further education program consists of the modules business administration (QM) and quality management. With the newly acquired expertise, participants are able to recognize potential for improvement within the company, optimize processes, prepare quality certifications and audits, but also conduct evaluations. Professionally qualified persons, who do not have classic qualification to study at post-secondary institutes, may also participate in this further education program. The first two compact courses offered by Hermes Hansecontrol will be held from April 11 to 15 2016 (Business administration/QM) and from May 23 to 28 2016 (quality management) in Hamburg.

You will find all the important information about content and conditions for participation on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at +49 (0) 40 300 33 73 - 1330 or by sending an email to seminaranmeldung@hansecontrol.com.

Today, one in ten bicycles purchased in Germany is a pedelec and this ¬figure is expected to increase in the future! In terms of ¬their intended use, pedelecs fall under the category of bicycles. Legally, however, they are attributed to the machine directive ¬as they are motorized. There are ¬also further legal and standardized bases for pedelecs, which must also be observed and considered with respect to the CE conformity.

In our seminar “Pedelecs – Bicycle or machine? – Legal product requirements” on November 18 in Hamburg, we describe the legal requirements and your duties while providing you with important tips for practical implementation.

You will find all the important information about content and conditions for participation on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at +49 (0) 40 300 33 73 - 1330 or by sending an email to seminaranmeldung@hansecontrol.com.

News September 2015

Once again, a new set of legal amendments has come into force which affects toy manufacturers, importers and traders. From December 21, 2015, new limit values will come into effect for bisphenol A as well as for plasticizers with flame retardant properties, i.e. TCEP, TCPP and TDCP. The European Commission and EU member states have agreed to amend the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC accordingly.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is suspected to cause permanent damage to the nervous and hormone systems. It is used to make polycarbonate plastics and is found in products such as pacifiers and bottles for babies, as well as toys. The use of BPA in babies’ bottles was banned several years ago, and now the migration value in toys for children under 36 months is being reduced to 0.1 milligrams per liter from December. Even chemicals that are used as flame retardants – TCEP and two related substances, TCPP and TDCP, that act as plasticizers in toys – may cause serious health risks. As a result, the permissible limit values in toys will be set at the detection limit of five milligrams per kilogram from December 21, 2015. Hermes Hansecontrol is now also able to test your products for TCEP, TCPP and TDCP thanks to its laboratories in Asia and Europe. We also offer comprehensive quality testing and risk evaluations for toys. This allows us to help our customers fulfill their duties to consumers – particularly children – and to avoid the need for product recalls.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your responsible contact in sales department or our customer service at the phone number +49 (0) 40 300 33 73 - 73 10 or by email to: customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

Any manufacturer who wishes to sell electric or electronic products on international markets will at some point come into contact with the CB scheme. This multilateral agreement was set up through an initiative run by the IECEE (International Electrotechnical Commission for Electrical Equipment) with the aim of facilitating the granting of international authorization for products. Hermes Hansecontrol Hamburg was named an official IECEE certification body (National Certify Body, NCB) and a CB testing laboratory (CBTL) already in September 2014. Now, in July 2015, Hermes Hansecontrol Shanghai was also declared a CB testing laboratory (CBTL). This encompasses an extensive range of permitted tasks and allows the site to conduct recognized tests on household products, lights, office devices, transformers, tools and audio/video products. Details can be found at www.iecee.org. The CBTL status is a milestone for Hermes Hansecontrol Shanghai in that it enables customers to successfully access the Chinese market.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your responsible contact in sales department or our customer service at the phone number +49 (0) 40 300 33 73 - 61 24 or by email to: info@hansecontrol.com.

One of the main characteristics of breathable functional clothing is the ability to repel water vapor. In its textile physics laboratory, Hermes Hansecontrol tests the water-vapor permeability of textiles in accordance with the world’s leading standards, the American ASTM E 96 and the Japanese JIS L 1099 (methods A1 and A2). In addition, the Hamburg-based experts offer further textile physic testing for functional textiles whilst continually investing in state-of-the-art testing technologies. As a result, the laboratory now has a device to test water-vapor resistance in accordance with EN ISO 11092, as well as the thermal resistance of functional textiles.

What’s more, the range of test procedures includes perspiration wicking ability, waterproofness (water column rating), as well as the spray test (lotus effect). Finally, Hermes Hansecontrol also tests the garment’s breathability in accordance with international standards.

Fast, reliable, effective: Hermes Hansecontrol is also one of Europe’s first laboratories to offer an express test service. Customers receive their test results within 24 hours. The company guarantees a three-day turnaround for testing carried out as part of its normal service.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your responsible contact in sales department or our customer service at the phone number +49 (0) 40 300 33 73 - 73 10 or by email to: customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

The starting whistle blew at 3 pm on September 18, 2015, in Nuremberg, kicking off the first ever toy manufacturers’ soccer match. Teams from the trade and industry sectors went head-to-head on the field, and just like in the world of business, “Toy Soccers” was all about the right tactics, sporting ambition and fair play, but also about the two sides getting to know one another and the joy of taking part in a team activity. By organizing this event, the German Toy Industry Association (DVSI) hopes to inspire a closer bond between trade and industry; at the same time, Toy Soccers is a move to rebrand the entire toy sector as fresh and sporty in the eyes of the general public.

The idea was put forward during a “Hermes dressing room talk” that Hermes had organized as part of its role as official premium partner for the 2014 Bundesliga season at the 1. FC Nuremberg. Hermes Hansecontrol, a financial backer of DVSI and a longstanding partner of the toy sector, took over the role of sponsor for Toy Soccers, and the “independent testing institute” also had an important part to play on the field when Christian Gerling from Hermes Hansecontrol took on refereeing duties for the first match.

Of course, this game wasn’t just a one-off. Toy Soccers are set to take to the field regularly in future – contact has already been made with potential opponents, including the German Chemical Industry Association (VDI) and the Federal Association of the German Sport Article Industry (BSI). What’s more, Toy Soccers have also arranged a friendly game against FC Bundestag, the German Parliament’s official soccer team, for the 2016 season.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your responsible contact in sales department or our customer service at the phone number +49 (0) 40 300 33 73 - 73 10 or by email to: customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

Product warnings and product recalls are perceived extremely negatively by the public; at the same time, product managers have to contend with a greatly increased level of scrutiny from the authorities, who place high standards on stakeholders involved at all stages of the supply chain. Companies face the challenge of having to correctly assess the potential risks of their products without losing sight of the legal framework and protecting themselves from loss in as far as is financially permissible. What matters most when it comes to meeting standards and avoiding product recalls is having fully-developed, efficient and tested products. Traceable processes and effective supplier management are expected from all economic operators involved in the process and are essential.

In our seminar titled “Product Safety Act, evaluation of CE conformity and product safeguarding in practice” on October 29, 2015, in Hamburg, we will provide you with information on the relevant laws, basic requirements and terminology in the European Single Market, along with solutions on how to apply these rules in practice.

You will find all the important information about content and conditions for participation on this website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at +49 (0) 40 300 33 73 - 13 30 or by sending an email to seminaranmeldung@hansecontrol.com.

News August 2015

A topic of concern to consumer goods manufacturers: “Product safety – standards, limits and feasibility” is the title of a symposium, which Hermes Hansecontrol invited interested parties to attend on June 22nd, 2015 in Hamburg. It was very well received. More than 70 industry representatives discussed current issues concerning the safety of products and corporate responsibility with experts from industry, politics and science.

A look at the figures confirms the importance of effective quality and safety management. At total of 2435 dangerous products were listed on the European RAPEX rapid alert system last year – more than ever before. This concerned 650 toys and 530 articles from the area of textiles/clothing/fashion. What can be done to avoid products being listed by the RAPEX system? After all, such entries pose the risk of financial losses, damage to corporate image not to mention legal recourse for manufacturers? Dr. Arun Kapoor, attorney at law from the international law firm Noerr LLP presented suitable strategies at the Hermes Hansecontrol symposium in Hamburg. Helmut Heming from the Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Equality in Lower Saxony explained how authorities monitor the market and which legal aspects must be observed. Sebastian Jockusch recounted his experience as a department head for product safety at Bettenwelt GmbH & Co. KG. Ralf Arnold Walter, in charge of the Product Risk Assessment division at Hermes Hansecontrol, presented effective measures for improving safety in connection with product development.

The successful event has prompted Hermes Hansecontrol to continue offering customers and interested companies such a platform for the transfer of expertise. At regular intervals, we would like to invite you to discuss current issues relating to the quality assurance of consumer goods at high-profile symposiums in the future.

If you have any questions, please contact your responsible contact person in the sales department or our customer service team. Telephone: +49(0)40 300 33 73 - 73 10, e-mail: customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

Lead is among the toxic heavy metals – especially for children, even small quantities can pose a health risk. If e.g. small children repeatedly put objects containing lead or lead compounds in their mouths, this could affect their cognitive abilities and result in severe neurological developmental disorders. The EU Regulation 2015/628 has therefore introduced more stringent provisions for the restriction of lead in connection with REACh. As a result, products, which children could put in their mouth when used “in a normal or reasonably foreseeable manner” must not contain more than 500 mg/kg of lead. This restriction concerns consumer goods with dimensions of less than 5 cm or with removable or protruding parts of this size. It applies for products introduced to the market beginning on June 01, 2016.

Numerous products such as clothing, household items or sports articles are affected by the new provision. However, numerous exceptions also apply: The limit of 500 mg/kg does not apply if it is shown that no more than 0.05 μg/cm2 of lead is released from the material per hour. Coatings must be shown to be resistant for a period of two years. Crystal glass, keys and locks, musical instruments as well as products whose lead concentration or migration is also regulated by other guidelines or regulations are also excluded among others. This includes e.g. toys, jewelry, electrical devices, packaging and products in contact with food.

Manufacturers and distributors should determine early on that their products comply with the new legal regulations concerning lead. Hermes Hansecontrol helps you do just that with competent consultations and comprehensive testing services.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your responsible contact in sales department or our customer service at the phone number +49(0)40 300 33 73 - 73 10 or by email to: customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

Lifelong learning guarantees future opportunities – this applies for individual employees as well as for the development of companies. Hermes Hansecontrol would like to help its customers acquire up-to-date expertise in the area of quality assurance so that they are well prepared to successful tackle competitive challenges. In partnership with the EB Cert network organization, which oversees the operations of the University/Further Education (UFE) educational initiative, we are offering a certified course as a quality manager for the first time this year. Since June, Hermes Hansecontrol has been authorized as a testing center for internationally recognized university certificate courses including examinations.

The further education program was specially designed for (aspiring) specialists and managing employees of companies. In two modules, business administration (QM) skills are conveyed; at the same time, participants receive an in-depth introduction to process-oriented quality management. As a result, they acquire the skills needed to identify potential for improvement in companies, optimize processes and prepare certifications, e.g. in accordance with ISO 9001. Following successful completion of the international standardized certificate examinations in both modules, the certificate “Quality manager (Univ.)” will be awarded. The courses are certified by the FIBAA, one of the leading international agencies for quality assurance in the area of university education; up to six university credits (ECTS) can be recognized per course. Another advantage for participants: The further education program can also be effectively combined with one's daily professional pursuits. The two modules each comprise 180 hours with mandatory attendance only required on five or six consecutive days. The first two compact courses offered by Hermes Hansecontrol will take place from October 12th to 16th, 2015 (business administration/QM) and from November 23rd to 28th, 2015 (quality management) in Hamburg.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your responsible contact in the sales department or our seminar department at the phone number +49(0)40 300 33 73 - 13 30 or by email to: seminaranmeldung@hansecontrol.com.

Flexible both in terms of time and place; individual and cost-efficient: Online training courses offer a wide range of advantages – especially for companies planning to train their employees in different regions and fields of activity in the near future. Customers of Hermes Hansecontrol will be able to benefit from this form of further education entirely based on their needs in the future. In partnership with the consulting company NimkarTek, we will be offering special learning modules for the entire supply chain in the areas of textiles, clothing, leather and footwear that you can access online anywhere and anytime.

The e-learning platform “NOTES” developed by NimkarTek www.nimkartek.com/online-training allows you to access up-to-date industry-specific expertise. This content was developed by leading experts from industry and science and covers all stages of the supply chain. Training modules are currently available in five categories and can be individually tailored to your needs. Further more some of them are already available in Chinese. Among other things, the courses impart knowledge on handling the list of substances whose use is restricted (Restricted Substances List, RSL) as well as knowledge concerning the chemicals listed therein, e.g. APEOs, as well as occupational safety, compliance and legal guidelines. All modules follow an interactive methodology and can be individually tailored to accommodate the schedule of the respective users.

The online training courses are now available for booking through Hermes Hansecontrol. If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your responsible contact in sales department or our customer service at the phone number +49(0)40 300 33 73 - 73 10 or by email to: customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

Labeling requirements for textiles, leather goods and footwear are complex and not always easy to implement on a practical level. Proper product labeling is essential in the avoidance of disputes and intervention on the part of the market supervisory authority in connection with competition law.

In our seminar "Product labeling of textiles, footwear and leather goods" on September 16th and 17th, 2015 in Hamburg, you are provided with a detailed overview of the legal framework regulating the labeling of textile products. On the basis of practical examples, you learn about the requirements imposed by the labeling regulation and how to implement them correctly. You can also exchange experiences with other participants and discuss questions that arise in everyday practice.

You will find all the important information about content and conditions for participation on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at +49(0)40 300 33 73 - 13 30 or send an e-mail to seminaranmeldung@hansecontrol.com.

The safety of electrical devices was one of the first product safety issues in the Single Market of the European Union. Today, various guidelines regulate the duties of manufacturers and distributors. They aim to prevent faults as well as risks to the health and safety of users, but also to minimize harm to the environment and energy consumption. In 2016, various new versions or amendments to existing EU directives that introduce new requirements as well as additional responsibility for economic operators will enter into force.

In our seminars "Changes to the conformity of electrical devices with directives" on September 17th and November 3rd, 2015 in Hamburg, we will inform you about relevant directives and regulations as well as fundamental requirements and terminology in connection with the European Single Market. In a single day, you have the chance to obtain a complete overview of your duties as well as sensible measures you can take to protect yourself against liability risks.

You will find all the important information about content and conditions for participation on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at +49(0)40 300 33 73 - 13 30 or send an e-mail to seminaranmeldung@hansecontrol.com.

News July 2015

Chlorinated paraffins (CP) are present in a large number of consumer products. Among other things, they are used as plasticizers for plastics or coatings, as fatting agents for leather or as flame retardants for plastics, rubber, paper and textiles. The problem: As of January 2013, consumer goods containing short-chained chlorinated paraffins (SCCP) are no longer allowed in the EU. However, practical implementation of EU regulation 850/2004 (short form: POP regulation) raises a number of questions. On one hand, the chemical analysis of chlorinated paraffins is very demanding and, on the other hand, the POP regulation does not define exact limits for SCCP in consumer products or uniform measurement methods.

There are currently a large number of different analytical methods for detecting chlorinated paraffins available on the market. As lab findings are highly dependent on the measurement equipment used as well as a wide range of other details relating to the method, no satisfactory level of comparability has been achieved at present. Though a draft standard (DIN EN ISO 18219) based on gas chromatography (GC) with a mass spectrometry detector (MS) and negative chemical ionization (NCI) exists for detecting SCCP in leather, this draft standard has come under scrutiny in professional circles as the described analysis (short form: GC/MS/NCI) is relatively prone to error. This concerns a purely conventional method with the goal of improving the comparability of results achieved by different labs.

In addition to this analysis, Hermes Hansecontrol Hamburg offers its own in-house method where testers rely on high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) employing a special mass spectrometric detector (TOF – time of flight mass spectrometer) as well as special ionization technique (APCI – atmospheric pressure chemical ionization). This LC/TOF method is significantly less prone to error than the GC/MS/NCI method and is likely one of the most reliable methods for the correct identification of chlorinated paraffins currently on the market.

Depending on the respective objective, companies can benefit from both methods: If the comparability of the results achieved in different labs is paramount, the GC/MS/NCI method is suitable for the identification of chlorinated paraffins. If, on the other hand, the main objective is to identify chlorinated paraffins with the highest degree of accuracy, it is recommended to choose the Hermes Hansecontrol in-house method (LC/TOF).

Comprehensive technical information on this topic will follow. If you have any questions, please contact your responsible contact person in the sales department or our customer service team. Telephone: +49 (0)40 300 33 73 - 73 10, e-mail: customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

Toys, sports equipment or tool handles: In future, products containing rubber and plastics will only be permitted to contain minimal traces of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the future. As of 27 December 2015, new limits will apply in accordance with EU regulation 1907/2006 (REACh). Products containing more than 1 mg/kg of one of the eight carcinogenic PAHs will be banned from this date on; in the case of baby products, a concentration of 0.5 mg/kg may not be exceeded.

Background information: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are natural constituents of coal and oil. They are formed through the incomplete combustion of fossil raw materials and are particularly used as plasticizers and for dying rubber and elastic plastics black by the industry.

The new PAH limits already came into force on 1 July 2015 for products with the GS mark for “Certified Safety”. This is stipulated by the Central Body of the Federal States for Safety Engineering (ZLS) in its new GS specification. Manufacturers are therefore required to take immediate action: To avoid competitive disadvantages and sanctions, they must promptly ensure that their products meet the new statutory requirements. As an independent test institute and partner committed to responsibility, Hermes Hansecontrol is there to help its customers with this task. Already in 2009, the independent certification company Hermes Hansecontrol-Cert was recognized by the ZLS as an authorized GS test center. Companies that already use the voluntary quality mark can, by means of repeat testing, determine whether their products meet all current limits for PAHs and, if necessary, take measures to ensure their product range complies with the latest state of legislation. Early testing by independent experts is also worthwhile for products without the GS mark. After all, compliance with the more stringent REACh guidelines will constitute a general obligation by the end of the year.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your responsible contact person in the sales department or our customer service at the phone number +49 (0) 40 300 33 73 - 73 10 or by email to: customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

Children are in need of special protection: This also holds true when it comes to potential risks in connection with handling products. As a result, testers are, in connection with market supervision by official bodies, setting their sights on toys in particular and identifying violations of the Toy Directive on a regular basis. The RAPEX list, which is published weekly, documents the impressive number of product recalls. This topic has also caught the attention of the public: Consumer magazines frequently report on potential risks, which in turn influences market requirements.

In consideration of this information, what do manufacturers have to look out for? In our seminar “Product safety for toys” on 8 September 2015, we inform you about the safety requirements imposed on toys, your duties as well as sensible measures you can take to protect yourself against liability risks. You are provided with an overview of harmful substances subject to regulation as well as potentially contaminated materials so you benefit from specific recommendations based on our testing experience. You can also exchange experiences with others and discuss questions that raise in everyday practice with the experts.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at +49 (0)40 300 33 73 - 13 30 or send an e-mail to seminaranmeldung@hansecontrol.com.

News May 2015

Stockings should be easy to pull on, not wrinkle, be too tight or slip. The same goes for socks, knee-high socks and sock liners as for over-knee socks, leggings, pantyhose and tights. Therefore, fit and size are an important quality characteristic of hosiery. They both decisively affect the wearing comfort. A considerable amount of experience and technical expertise from the stocking industry is required to evaluate these criteria. A test person puts on the stock to determine the fit. The tester then evaluates the fit of the hosiery based on a catalog of criteria. The size of the test persons corresponds to AiF (German Federation of Industrial Research Association) project no. 14993 BG July 2009 and the respective shoe size specified by the client.

The size testing evaluates the so-called table size and/or stretch size of the products. For the table size, the tester determines the length and width of the specimen when laid out flat on a level surface. A special testing device – the stretch tester – determines the stretch size. Although the tests can be performed individually, the combination of fit and size testing is recommended for a thorough evaluation of hosiery. They should be performed before and after washing (as per the care label). Once they have been tested, the client will be sent a report on the fit, size and workmanship of the goods.

It also makes sense not to wait and test the finished goods, but to test samples taken during the product development phase and the production phase to identify any deviations early on and prevent subsequent complaints.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your responsible contact in sales department or our customer service at the phone number +49 (0) 40-300 3373 7310 or by email to: customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

In the office, invoices, order documents and posting documents take up an incredible amount of space over the years. Especially after preparing the annual report, the same old question arises every year: What do we do with the files once they have been processed? Office space is expensive, the basement is full or, due to moisture, not suitable for storing files. Send&Store, the new pick-up, storage and delivery service offered by the Hermes Group is a perfect way to expand your file cabinet space.

Though relocating files has been reserved to large companies for reasons of costs or minimum quantity requirements in the past, Send&Store also makes easy storage accessible for small and medium-sized companies. Send&Store picks up boxes or stable plastic boxes directly on location throughout Germany without any minimum quantity requirement and puts them into secure storage at Hermes' location in Hamburg. The warehouse is under professional surveillance around the clock and meets all data protection requirements. The content of the storage containers is also insured. You can request the return of all or individual boxes to your office any time you need them. No minimum term applies. The storage and return of files can be requested online at www.sendandstore.de.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with Ms Kira Grimm at the phone number +49 (0) 40-226 162 830 or use the contact form.

As convenient as cords and drawstrings are on clothing, they can quickly cause children to become trapped. In response to numerous, even fatal accidents, guidelines for the use of cords and drawstrings on clothing for children up to the age of 14 have been passed with the standard DIN EN 14682. As of March 2015, the revised German version of the standard is in place.

Reliable handling of the standard and its implementation in the design of products are imperative. The German Product Safety Act stipulates that product managers on every production level can be held legally responsible if their products fail to meet safety requirements and cause accidents as a result.

As a member of the European standards committee, Hermes Hansecontrol actively took part in developing and revising DIN EN 14682. Take advantage of the opportunity to acquire important technical expertise directly from an expert on this topic.

On June 30 2015, we will be providing you with detailed information on the content of and changes to the standard at our seminar Safety of children's apparel in accordance with DIN EN 14682:2015-03.

You will find all the important information about content and conditions for participation on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at +49 40 300 33 73 - 13 30 or send an e-mail to seminaranmeldung@hansecontrol.com.

News March 2015

Through its recent acquisition of “China Metrology Accreditation” (CMA), Hermes Hansecontrol Shanghai will be better able to support manufacturers, vendors, and importers with their activities on the Chinese market. Since November of last year, the company has been a recognized test center for consumer goods manufactured in or imported to China. As a result, manufacturers now benefit from introducing reliable, safe products, for which aspects of time and costs have been optimized, to the Chinese market.

CMA authorizes Hermes Hansecontrol Shanghai to perform legally binding product tests and issue certificates of conformity in accordance with the “Metrology Law of the People’s Republic of China”. Products range from textiles, leather and footwear to toys, household appliances, information technology, lighting up to and including electric tools, audio and video equipment as well as transformers. Hermes Hansecontrol Shanghai now performs chemical, textile-physical and electric tests in accordance with the Chinese standard.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your responsible contact in sales department or our customer service at the phone number +49 (0)40 300 33 73 - 73 10 or by email to: customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

The nine-part DIN EN ISO 4210 series of standards is among the most important in the area of bicycles and bicycle accessories. As of January, 2015, it has defined corresponding safety requirements. Global demand led to the development of the new international standard in order to ensure consistent, comprehensive standardization.

The series of standards now includes several different types of bicycles and their components. In the past, safety requirements and test methods in separate European standards applied for the bicycle types city and trekking bikes (DIN EN 14764), mountain bikes (DIN EN 14766) and racing bicycles (DIN EN 14781). According to the transitional regulation, they will continue to apply until July 31, 2015. The category young adult bicycle, the maximum seat height of which must be between 635 and 750 mm, will be introduced in the DIN EN ISO 4210 series of standards.

The new series of standards concerns young-adult bicycles, city and trekking bicycles as well as mountain, racing, and folding bicycles. Specialized types of bicycles like cargo bikes for entrepreneurs, recumbent bicycles, tandem bicycles, and bicycles designed for stunts or airborne tricks are excluded. The stability and durability of the individual parts and the bicycle as a whole are tested. With respect to safety requirements, the new standard does not represent any fundamental change. Only some of the test methods and requirements were adapted. At this point, we would like to make special reference to the broader requirements for instruction manuals.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your responsible contact in sales department or our customer service at the phone number +49 (0)40 300 33 73 - 73 10 or by email to: customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has decreased the “safe limit” for the substance bisphenol A (BPA). In a recent evaluation, it reduced the level of tolerable daily intake (TDI) from 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day to four. However, this level is only of a provisional nature as further studies on health risks associated with BPA are currently being conducted in the USA. At the same time, it assesses the probability of BPA triggering a health effect as very low. According to which, consumers take in significantly less BPA than the amount considered to pose a health risk.

BPA is used in many types of food packaging such as plastic bottles, tins for preserves and beverages, but also in plastic dishes, cooking utensils or thermal paper receipts. For years, plasticizers were criticized as posing a risk to health. For this reason, regulation (EU) no. 10/2011 prohibits their use in baby bottles in Germany and the European Union. At the same time, it regulates the limits for BPA. National legislative bodies will decide whether the TDI revised by the EFSA or other measures will be implemented in the respective EU regulation. Environmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as German Environmental Protection or Friends of the Earth Germany are still demanding a general ban on the use of the chemical in food packaging.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your responsible contact in sales department or our customer service at the phone number +49 (0) 40-300 3373 73 10 or by email to: customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

One in ten bikes sold in Germany is a pedelec – and the trend is on the rise. In terms of their intended use, pedelecs fall under the category of bicycles. Legally, however, they are attributed to the machine directive as they are motorized. There are also further legal and standardized bases for pedelecs, which must also be observed and considered with respect to the CE conformity.

In our seminar Market Regulatory Authority Focuses On Pedelecs on April 15, 2015 in Hamburg, you can obtain an overview of your duties and sensible measures so you can protect yourself against liability risks. Learn valuable tips for practical implementation and also take part in discussions and get answers to your questions.

You will find all the important information about content and conditions for participation on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at +49 (0)40 300 33 73 - 13 30 or send an e-mail to seminaranmeldung@hansecontrol.com.

News February 2015

Nitrosamines are critical substances suspected of causing cancer. They may be formed in the manufacturing of consumer goods made of rubber or latex such as baby pacifiers, baby bottles or balloons. Therefore migration thresholds have been defined not only for the nitrosamines but also for the nitrosatable precursor chemicals in the German Commodity Ordinance in force in the European Union.

Nitrosamines and nitrosatable amines basically emerge during vulcanization from specific vulcanization accelerators or during the production process from specific additives containing amines. A transformation can take place not only during production but also afterwards. The nitric oxides required for the nitrosation are also present even in the air and in human saliva. Therefore it is important in the case of articles for small children such as toys and parts of toys made from elastomers as well as finger paints to monitor the production process and to examine the finished products for nitrosamines and N-nitrosatable substances.

Tests are performed as per DIN EN 12868 (for baby bottles and baby pacifiers made from elastomers or rubber or natural rubber or synthetic rubber) and as per DIN EN 71-12 (for toys made from elastomers intended for use by children under 3 years as well as for toys made from elastomers, which are intended to be placed in the mouth). Especially balloons made from natural or synthetic rubber and teether rings fall under the norms for safety of toys.

The development of the essential test methods for this purpose is very time consuming and requires special analytics, which if at all, only a few laboratories can provide. Hermes Hansecontrol has developed new corresponding test methods in their own laboratory and has procured state-of-the-art measuring equipment, which can detect not only nitrosamines but also the N-nitrosatable substances.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your responsible contact in sales department or our customer service at the phone number +49 (0)40 300 33 73 - 73 10 or by email to:customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

The European Union is planning to restrict the use of four softeners. A draft directive published by the European Union will, for the first time, define limits for the use of the phthalates DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP in electrical and electronic devices. The planned volume restriction for the four softeners amounts to 0.1 weight percent and will enter into force beginning on 22 July 2019. A transitional period up to 22 July 2021 is planned for medical equipment as well as monitoring and control tools.

The directive 2011/65/EU – also known as RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) – will be expanded to this end. To date, the substances lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium VI, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyls (PBDE) are listed in Appendix II. Article 6 (1) stipulates that this list must undergo regular review and be expanded or modified as necessary. The softeners DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP will now be included in this list as they pose a hazard to reproduction.

The guideline draft does not have any effects on the existing regulation for the softeners DEHP, BBP and DBP in toys with electrical and electronic equipment (EEE toys). They will continue to fall under Appendix XVII (entry 51) of the European REACh chemicals ordinance. This is due to the retention of the stricter limit for such children's products (the maximum concentration of 0.1 weight percent applies for the sum of the three phthalates).

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with your responsible contact in sales department or our customer service at the phone number +49 (0)40 300 33 73 - 73 10 or by email to:customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

Particularly with regard to children, today’s mandatory standards are no longer sufficient to satisfy the increased quality awareness of the consumer and to counter losses of image and reputation as a result of product recalls. What can you do as manufacturer or importer with the accountability of manufacturer in order to exclude possible risks in advance?

Hermes Hansecontrol has long-time experience particularly when it comes to minimizing potential risks, particularly those associated with products of relevance for children, beforehand during the product development phase in order to avoid product recalls further down the road. The risk assessment that goes beyond ensuring compliance with the product requirements prescribed by standards – the Product Risk Assessment – is an ideal solution for all consumer goods.

In our seminar Product Risk Assessment on 17 March 2015 in Hamburg, you will learn how to check the design and functionality of consumer goods beforehand during the product development phase by means of preliminary analysis processes. You will gain insight into the systematic method for identifying any possible hazards or safety gaps associated with the use of the product.

You will find all the important information about content and conditions for participation on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at +49 (0)40 300 33 73 - 13 30 or send an e-mail toseminaranmeldung@hansecontrol.com.

News January 2015

Hermes Hansecontrol presented its testing services at the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair. The trade fair in the Chinese metropolis is the leading toy and games fair for the Asian market. The experts from Hermes Hansecontrol informed manufacturers, vendors and importers about the mandatory quality and safety standards that regulate the export of toys to Europe or the USA, among others. This also includes special requirements for legally compliant instruction manuals and proper product labeling. Experts also provided information on updates to the European standards EN 71-1 and EN 62115. With branch offices in Dongguan, Hong Kong and Shanghai, Hermes Hansecontrol is locally represented on the most important international production and export market for toys and tests goods directly on location before they are shipped to Europe.

If you have any questions about the quality assurance of toys, kindly get in touch with your responsible contact in the sales department or customer service by calling +49 (0)40 300 33 73 - 73 10 or sending an e-mail to:customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

Borussia Dortmund and Hermes Hansecontrol are continuing their successful partnership: The company for quality assurance and the member of Germany's soccer Bundesliga have renewed the contract for their cooperation. As the “official test partner” of BVB, the experts at Hermes Hansecontrol have examined BVB fan merchandise such as bags, scarves, bedding, jewelry or cups since July 1, 2013. “For BVB, the safety of fan merchandise is paramount. We owe it to our fans. Thanks to testing by Hermes Hansecontrol Group, they can always count on the uncompromised safety of our products”, explains Matthias Zerber, managing director of BVB Merchandising GmbH.

Borussia Dortmund has its fan merchandise tested according to stricter criteria than prescribed in legal standards. Hermes Hansecontrol tests the products both in its Hamburg lab and at its international locations. The tests include chemical analyses to check the products for the presence of banned harmful substances. Textile physical tests also confirm the quality of the products.

Successfully tested products, which have also been certified by Hermes Hansecontrol, are awarded the test mark “Safe Fan Merchandise” and appear with the company logo in the BVB catalogue and with the test mark and in the web shop. Further information can be obtained from the certificate database using the identification number.

If you have any questions on the topic of fan, promotional or other merchandise, please get in touch with your responsible contact in the sales department or customer service by calling +49 (0)40 300 33 73 - 73 10 or sending an e-mail to:customer-service@hansecontrol.com.

In equestrian sports, considerable demands are placed on functional textiles: they should be aesthetically appealing, promote regulation of the rider's and horse's body temperature, offer a high level of comfort and durability.

Technically sophisticated materials combined with special refining procedures combine these functions and requirements with one another in a sensible manner, which offers added value for horse and rider alike. Numerous laws, guidelines and regulations relating to consumer protection such as chemicals posing a risk to health must be considered in the process.

At our seminar “Product requirements for functional textiles for horse and rider” scheduled for Tuesday, April 14th 2015 in Hamburg, we will be presenting the most important functions and the relevant basics of textile technology. Textile physical measuring processes and parameters for assessing functions will be examined as well as the basic requirements laid down in the German Product Safety Act.

Here you will find all the important information oncontent and conditions for participation. If you have any questions, please call us at the phone number +49 40 300 33 73 - 13 30.

New legal provisions, changed test requirements and critical consumers: Numerous challenges await manufacturers, vendors and importers in 2015. To ensure that you are prepared for the dynamic requirements, Hermes Hansecontrol will also be offering you important information about your commercial goods in this year's practice-oriented seminars. In addition to in-depth information, we will also offer you strategies for meeting the wide range of requirements, to ensure that day-to-day work remains safe and to rule out any risk of conflicts.

Information on our seminars for the 1st half of 2015 is now available here.

If you have any questions on this topic, please get in touch with our seminar department by calling +49 (0)40 300 33 73 - 73 10 or sending an e-mail to: seminaranmeldung@hansecontrol.com.

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