FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Infringement procedures against the Netherlands, France and Germany reach final closure
Clichy, France – 24th July 2020 –BIC regrets that the European Commission decided to close the infringement procedures for lack of surveillance of non-compliant lighters, initiated in 2012 by the European Commission against the Netherlands, and filed by BIC in 2018 against France and Germany.
Two-third of lighter models sold in Europe (most of them imported) do not comply with the European safety standards resulting in tens of thousands of serious accidents every year. This decision undermines the effectiveness of the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD). These procedures were aimed at addressing the ineffectiveness of the market surveillance of lighters on the European market. The larger issue of ineffective market surveillance -beyond the lighter case - has been widely recognized by the European Commission with its new European consumer safety agenda, as well as by former Commissioners1 .
The pending reform of the GPSD is an opportunity to establish an effective framework to better protect European consumers, by precisely defining the obligations of Member States regarding product surveillance, in order to ensure that only compliant products2 can circulate in the EU Market. Relying on its experience, BIC will make available to all interested stakeholders the non-confidential documents provided during the infringement procedures and, will make concrete proposals for a successful reform.
As quality and safety are BIC’s number one priority, BIC will remain a demanding and vigilant partner of European and national institutions to ensure the safety of consumers in Europe.
Applicable Safety Standards:
- The ISO 9994 International Safety Standard introduced in 1989 is the basic safety standard. It outlines the most important safety requirements for every lighter, including the maximum flame height, drop resistance, resistance to high temperatures, resistance to internal pressure and to continuous burning, etc.
- EN 13869 Standard, known as the “child-resistant” Safety Standard, encompasses the ISO 9994 standard in Europe. It requires all pocket lighters sold in Europe to be effectively child-resistant throughout the lighter’s shelf-life. A child-resistant lighter is one for which the ignition has been made deliberately difficult for a child. 85% of children under 51 months old should not be able to ignite the lighter during testing.
- On 18 October 2018, BIC filed a complaint with the European Commission for lack of surveillance of non-compliant lighters in France and Germany. Read the Press Release: https://www.bicworld.com/sites/default/files/Press%20Release_BIC_18OCT2018.pdf
BIC is a world leader in stationery, lighters, and shavers. For more than 75 years, the Company has honored the tradition of providing high-quality, affordable products to consumers everywhere. Through this unwavering dedication, BIC has become one of the most recognized brands and is a trademark registered worldwide. Today, BIC products are sold in more than 160 countries around the world and feature iconic brands such as Cello®, Conté®, BIC FlexTM, Lucky Stationery, Made For YOUTM, Soleil®, Tipp-Ex®, Wite-Out® and more. In 2019, BIC Net Sales were 1,949.4 million euros. The Company is listed on “Euronext Paris,” is part of the SBF120 and CAC Mid 60 indexes and is recognized for its commitment to sustainable development and education. It received an A- Leadership score from CDP. For more, visit www.bicworld.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube.
|Sophie Palliez-Capian – VP, Corporate Stakeholder Engagement|
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2 ISO 9994 and EN 13869 safety standards, the reference of which have been published, in the Official Journal of the EU