‘We need tougher enforcement of rules’ say manufacturers

EUROPEAN lighting manufacturers want better enforcement of European Union regulations to stop the tide of non-compliant lamps and luminaires entering the market.

The European Commission is introducing from Christmas Day a further 80 pages of new rules – in the shape of the new requirements on Eco-design and energy labelling – begins to be rolled out. In some countries it will apply in September 2021 and in others September 2023.Pic: Andersen Pecorone via Wikipedia Commons

LightingEurope, which represents national lighting manufacturer associations, has called for more funding for enforcement to help level the playing field between suppliers who comply with the myriad rules and regulations relating to lighting products and those who don’t.

‘More needs to be done to ensure a more efficient market surveillance,’ said the organisation in an end-of-year statement. ‘And this starts with allocating more resources to the authorities in charge of doing so.’

It points out that from Christmas Day a further 80 pages of new rules – in the shape of the new requirements on Eco-design and energy labelling – begins to be rolled out. In some countries it will apply in September 2021 and in others September 2023.

Additionally, a new database, the European Registry for Energy Labelling (EPREL) came into force last July and requires that all light sources placed on the market since August 2017 be registered.

‘And this just at the EU level. Let’s not forget that our industry also must comply with purely national legal requirements on a market that covers 27 countries.

‘Ensuring that products comply with these many rules comes at a cost for our members. They invest time. At the moment, a new lamp must go through nine months of testing before being sold in the EU. Of course, complying comes at a cost’.

LightingEurope says that while the arrival of the new regulations increases consumer safety, ‘we should not forget that it also threatens the balance between the different industry players and therefore the level-playing field.’

It says that the recently-adopted European market surveillance rules are steering the discussion in the right direction.

‘The new Compliance and Enforcement Directive will, for instance, create new opportunities for the industry and market surveillance authorities to collaborate, which is key to making progress in eliminating non-compliant products from the market’.

LightingEurope says it will provide assistance to the Energy Efficiency Compliant Products 2018 – also called EEPliant 3 - a pan-EU market surveillance project that will look at different categories of products, including lighting and test some models against the new EU Energy Labelling and Ecodesign rules.

A similar exercise was conducted in 2014 and saw 86 lamps tested. Only 14 per cent of the tested models were fully compliant.

Tests are carried out by authorities at the national level as well, but LightingEurope says that the resources allocated to them are ‘not commensurate to the volume of items available or rules to apply’.

It cites the example of the French authorities which tested 55 products. Only 5 per cent of the tested models were fully compliant. 35 per cent were not only non-compliant but also considered dangerous.

On top of collaborating with authorities, LightingEurope is also set to develop sets of guidelines in the months and years to come.

LightingEurope says it will publish specific guidelines on the new Eco-design and Energy labelling rules for lighting to assist the industry.