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New Law on Textile Fibre Names Introduces Changes in Existing Law

Hong Kong’s textiles and clothing exporters should be alerted to a new law, Commission Delegated Regulation 2018/122, which entered into force on 15 February 2018, and concerns EU legislation on textile fibre names and related labelling and marking of the fibre composition of textile products. The new Regulation amends various provisions of the existing legislation, namely, Regulation 1007/2011 (the framework law on textile fibre names and related labelling and marking).

Clothing traders may already know that Regulation 1007/2011 requires labelling to indicate the fibre composition of textile products, with checks being carried out by analysis on the conformity of those products through indications given on the label. The main provisions of Regulation 1007/2011 set out:

  • A general obligation to state the full fibre composition of textile products;
  • Minimum technical requirements for applications for a new fibre name;
  • A requirement to indicate the presence of non-textile parts of animal origin;
  • An exemption applicable to customised products made by self-employed tailors.

The European Commission is also entitled to adopt delegated acts amending the technical annexes of the Regulation, and report on, for example,  studies related to hazardous substances undertaken by the Commission.

According to the framework Regulation, which was adopted in 2011, textile products have to be labelled or marked whenever they are available on the market. Moreover, the indication of the fibre composition of a product is mandatory at all stages of the industrial processing and commercial distribution of that product. All products containing at least 80% by weight of textile fibres, including raw, semi-worked, worked, semi-manufactured, semi-made, and made-up products are covered by the Regulation. It is however notable that the Regulation does not cover size, country of origin, or wash/care labelling.

The new amending law, which was published in the EU’s Official Journal on 26 January 2018, states that a manufacturer submitted to the Commission an application to include ‘polyacrylate’ as a new textile fibre name in the list set out in Annex I to Regulation 1007/2011. That application included a technical file fulfilling all the minimum requirements specified in Annex II to that Regulation. After having assessed the application for the new textile fibre name, the Commission, in consultation with Member States' experts and interested parties, concluded that the new textile fibre name ‘polyacrylate’ should be added to the list of textile fibre names.

Thus, the name polyacrylate is added in row 50 of Annex I of Regulation 1007/2011. The description provided for this is as follows: “fibre formed of cross-linked macromolecules having more than 35% (by mass) of acrylate groups (acid, light metal salts or esters) and less than 10% (by mass) of acrylonitrile groups in the chain and up to 15% (by mass) of nitrogen in the cross-linking”.

In order to make it possible to use uniform methods for quantitative analysis of textile fibre mixtures, test methods (which are set out in Annex VIII to Regulation 1007/2011) have been amended to include ‘polyacrylate’ fibre.

Furthermore, a new test method for quantitative analysis of fibre mixtures of polyester and certain other fibres has been added to Annex VIII to that Regulation.

Regulation 1007/2011 also lays down the agreed allowances that are used to calculate the mass of fibres contained in a textile product. Hence, the value of agreed allowance for ‘polyacrylate’ has been be added to the list set out in Annex IX to that Regulation.

Hong Kong producers exporting textile goods to the EU should examine the annex of new Regulation 2018/122, to see whether and how best they may benefit from its provisions, or evaluate any new obligations imposed by those provisions.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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