Ref. Ares(2015)5630121 - 07/12/2015
Ref. Ares(2016)6036878 - 20/10/2016
Meeting with European Carpets and Rugs Association (ECRA)
The objective of the meeting was to discuss issues of relevance for the carpets and rug industry
(ECRA) in TTIP notably third party certification requirements on both sides of the Atlantic (including
role of accredited laboratories).
ECRA noted that most of their products fall under the provisions of the EU Construction Products
Regulation (third party certification requirements for flammability and most recently chemicals
emissions – e.g. volatile organic compounds). In the US products have to respect mainly flammability
requirements if used in buildings.
EU and US worked for a number of years on ISO/TC 219 Floor coverings. EU EN standards are
identical to ISO ones. On the contrary, ASTM standards diverge from what has been agreed at ISO
level. Consequently tests have to be repeated. Finally in the US, requirements vary from State to State
which is particularly challenging for industry SMEs
As regards chemical emissions, EU legislation follows ISO 16000 while ASTM is not aligned with ISO as
regards the way the testing is done.
In addition, both in the EU as in the US there are private/voluntary certification schemes that de
facto become mandatory. Certain Architects in the US accept products only if they are certified by
LEED (the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System).
In the EU, the voluntary certification scheme is called PRODIS (the uniform PRODuct Information
System of the European Carpet Industry).
In this context, although EU laboratories can be officially recognized in the US, when we enter in the
private certification sphere there is almost no EU lab accepted in the US (there is only 1 EU lab accepted in
LEED and the recognition process took over 5 years)
ECRA was asked to provide additional information on the procedures for an EU lab to be officially
recognized in the US and how many EU labs are nowadays recognized in the US.