BSIF have provided the answers to the questions asked in good faith and to the best of our ability. BSIF cannot be held legally liable for the answers provided.
Question: Are bodies such as ECM who have been certifying to legislation that they are not allowed to, being dealt with by the authorities?
Yes they have indeed though it appears to be still going on. They have been warned by the Italian Accreditation Body.
Question: Are any companies been taken to account for issuing non Conforming PPE to the market
Yes in a variety of ways. They are reported to a central point at OPSS (Office of Product Safety and Standards) within BEIS who inform enforcement authorities from National Crime Agency, Border Control to Trading Stahdards
Question: Can nonconforming PPE suppliers be named somewhere to reduce the chance of dealing with them?
Legally difficult but we have suspicious certificates listed on the BSIF website
Question: I constantly see the same companies selling non-conforming masks, are are the BSIF going to publish a list of these companies?
There are no plans for this. We are the Trade Body not the Enforcement Authority. I believe we have to follow the current protocol till investigations are concluded at which point we could publish information.
Question: If in five years time, an employee falls ill through using a Type IIR mask for a period instead of a recommended FFP3 on a risk assessment due to lack of supply, who is likely to be liable for prosecution?
If the employee was provided with inappropriate PPE the responsibility sits with the employer. Sadly the employee lives with the consequences. But as said the responsibility is with the employer
Question: Recently had RAPEX report relating to masks not conforming. If I had issued these, where does final responsibility lie, even though I have DoC?
The economic operator would be required to demonstrate that they had properly discharged their responsibilities and obligations under EU 2016/425 otherwise they could be held partly or entirely responsible for placing (or making available) non compliant PPE on the EU market
Question: If the certificates are fake who is the responsible of the harm done to the worker. Who will be prosecuted? the organisation, The distributer or both?
Please see the answers to the last 2 questions (shown above)
Question: What do you recommend that companies do when they are offered non-compliant or fake PPE? There’s a high number of companies offering this PPE who are breaking the law and surely they should be investigated.
They are being investigated. If offered product that you know is not compliant it should of course be refused and the supplier reported. BSIF are happy to do that if provided with the necessary details
Question: who should you report a suspect CE marked product to?
It can be reported directly to OPSS on OPSS Intelligence OPSS.Intelligence@beis.gov.uk or via BSIF
Question: I’m seeing an increase in UK manufacturers diverting from normal operations into the PPE market. Primarily sourcing PPE from China via Poland and then into the UK. The products arrive with either a ECM or ICR certificate. Based on this marking, can it be assumed that the product is NOT compliant and therefore not only illegal, but more importantly unsafe to use. If the product does not have the correct certification or manufactured to a specified EN Standard i.e EN 149 who is liable if they sell the product in the UK. The importer (difficult to track down) or the seller?
ECM and ICR have no standing / authority to provide documentation to PPE Regulation 2016/425. I could not though say that the product is always unsafe. It has not been assessed under the requirements of our laws. It should not be used. Both the importer and any resller are responsible. There are specific obigations and responsibilities laid down at each level in the supply chain.
Question: if masks are uncertified or we are unsure of the certification, are we still able to sell them as ‘non-conforming’ masks?
Question: Could you please show images of the fake CE certificates please? Is the certificate from ECM fake/ non compliant?
Please visit the BSIF web site where there are numerous links through to “suspicious certificates”
Question: Are all ICR Polska and ENTE certificates not valid as proof of meeting the required standards? Thank you for this webinar – have already answered many questions for us!
As was illustrated in the webinar for a Notified Body to be involved in PPE conformity assessment they will be shown on the EU NANDO website under legislation EU 2016/425 link is https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/nando/index.cfm?fuseaction=directive.notifiedbody&dir_id=155501
Question: as we are all aware there is a massive shortage fo PPE such as gloves, masks, visors etc due to the current climate, in the interest of getting back to business as usual, all we have managed to get hold of is non CE marked kit. in my opinion it is better than nothing until we can get the correct equipment, do we need to notify users that they are not marked so they don’t assume they are? i know this will be an unpopular view, so How do you think we could get back to normal without the availability of certified kit
We will have to wait for guidelines from Government and HSE. However, it will not be acceptable to put individuals at risk because appropriate PPE is not available.
Question: Voluntary certificates, in plain terms, what do they stand for? Any compliance?
The voluntary certificate is meaningless. Most of them ECM in particular “allow” the placing of the ECM mark on a product it says that specifically on the certificate. One has got to believe that those issuing these voluntary certificates know of the most likely misuse that they will be put to.
Question: Without prejudice would you say that the majority of these fake CE certificates come from places such as China or is it more home grown?
My view is that they come from overseas. Inexperienced or ignorant economic operators should be discouraged from supplying PPE.
Question: I have checked an ECM ‘CE’ certificates for face masks on the ECM website, and they have been acknowledged on their search tool. Are these still fake?
They might be real ECM certificates but they have no value as CE conformity assessment for PPE
Question: we have seen a lot of china suppliers with ‘voluntary certificates’. They have been selling these as CE certs. It looks to be a scam.
Scam or ignorance? Either way of no value to the market
Question: please can you tell me if there has ever been a prosecution under CE marking in the UK. I have made a number of complaints under CE marking in the past and have been told by the regulators that there is little they can do as nobody wants to take it further!
There have been 2 notable prosecutions but they have actually been carried out under “UK Consumer Law”
Question: Does the panel feel that some form of public awareness of the legal requirements and that there are so many scam companies about?
Question: I have read some online articles that reference CE can also refer to the term Chinese Export. Can you confirm if this is true (and if so is it an issue) or just an urban myth?
It is true but a story less heard these days as CE on PPE has now been around for more than a generation and is therefore somewhat better understood
Question: Should trading standards be contacted when finding non compliant products?
Absolutely or OPSS – please see above
Question: With CE markings on purchased products how do we know that these are genuine? Last year there were a quantity of scaffold fittings that were fake, some of which, failed in use. These had all the correct markings and traced back through a distributor.
I am afraid that it can happen. Often through lack of production controls. Within BSIF we do annual single product auditing of members products which have been through the CE markiing process and yes we do still come across some failings. So the system of CE marking is not a 100% guarantee I am afraid
Question: Thank you for the presentation, Can you advise why these products that do not comply are not quarantined upon receipt into the EU / UK?
I do not know of any specific example but many are and on many occassions products that have been sold are being recalled.
Question: Our organisation received a donation of masks from China. After a bit of surfing, i found someone selling them, and had uploaded a Certficate of Conformity. It was issued by a UK test house, but the CoC was dated one year after this company was dissolved. The only named director had a Chinese name and Chinese correspondence address. Should i be concerned?!
Yes you should. Documentation can be faked