23 May 2024, 04:15
By Furniture News Sept 09, 2014

BFC urges trade to consider FR regulation changes

The British Furniture Confederation (BFC) is urging furniture manufacturers, retailers and suppliers to the industry to engage with and respond to the Government’s imminent consultation on changes to the UK flammability regulations.

The changes cover amendments to Schedule 5 – the match test, Part 1 and Schedule 4 – the Cigarette test, changing the required test filling material from a non-fire retardant foam to a combustion modified one, with or without a fibre layer, and removing the requirement for most cover fabrics to undergo the cigarette test. In addition there will be instances where other materials within a piece of furniture, that are currently unregulated, may also need to comply with an additional test.

“We will of course be submitting our own comments on behalf of the industry,” says BFC chairman Paul von der Heyde. “But it is vital that the Government gets to hear directly from as many companies as possible about the impact on their businesses of the proposed changes to the regulations.”

The BFC, whilst welcoming the intent behind the proposals, has previously expressed concerns that the changes may not necessarily deliver the reduced usage of FR chemicals or costs to industry that BIS claims for them and that they will actually initially lead to increased costs and further confusion within industry that may potentially reduce consumer safety.

“The final proposals in the public consultation do reflect some of our initial concerns, but some do remain, and the two-month consultation period is an improvement on the one month first mooted by BIS, which we pointed out was really not long enough – especially as it was being launched in the middle of the summer holidays,” says Paul.

“These changes are set to go ahead from April of next year, so we can’t stress enough how important it is for companies to look at the detailed proposals, assess how they will affect their own businesses and feed back to Government before the deadline date of 7th October.”

The BFC was set up to bring together furniture industry trade associations and membership bodies with the principal aim of engaging with Government at all levels regarding matters of concern within the furniture, bed and furnishing industry.

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