JA2010 - Visibility Clothing

Visibility clothing and accessories (e.g., visibility tabs) can be vital for the safety of consumers who walk or bicycle on dark roads. These clothing and accessories come in a wide variety of products such as jackets, trousers, raincoats, sleeveless vests, reflecting arm and leg bands, hanging reflectors, reflectors to be attached to clothing, bag covers, reflective belts, reflective bracelets, backpacks etc.

Several Member States have carried out market surveillance actions on these products and come across equipment that provides the user with inadequate protection. These were: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and the Slovak Republic. 

The primary objective of the work undertaken was to ensure that visibility clothing and accessories on the EU market comply with the requirements in the European legislation.

The overall action sought to co-ordinate the product-specific market surveillance activities in the most efficient manner and provides an opportunity for evaluating the best practice developed under EMARS II. This included improving co-operation with customs, outreach to China and international collaboration.

An important part of the Joint Action was the testing of a number of visibility clothing and accessories according to Standards EN1150 and EN13356.

The results of market surveillance activities show a high number of rogue products from samples inspected that were difficult to categorise. There is some confusion in the manufacturing sector relative to EN471 [professional use] and EN1150 [non-professional use]. It also seems that there is not much awareness of the standard EN1150.