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Safety notice

Reflective close proximity clothing must meet EN 1486 or ISO 15538

Close proximity clothing for fire fighting as maritime equipment in accordance with the European Marine Equipment Directive 2014/90/EU (hereinafter MED) must successfully undergo a specified conformity assessment procedure ("EU approval") prior to their supply on the European single market and their subsequent use on board an EU ship as defined by the MED.

The relevant testing standards for the conformity assessment procedure stem from the provisions of the current implementing regulation of the European Commission on design, construction and performance requirements as well as testing standards for marine  equipment. In the implementing regulation – which is currently regulation (EU) 2018/773 – the testing standards EN 469(2005), EN 1486 (2007) as well as ISO 15538 (2001) are listed under item "MED/3.3 Fire-fighter's outfit: protective clothing (close proximity clothing)".

A ruling on 20 October 2017 (under the number 3 Bf 152/16) of the higher administrative court of Hamburg has bindingly found that for reflective close proximity clothing and close proximity clothing with a reflective outer surface only the testing standards EN 1486 or ISO 15538 are to be applied in a MED conformity assessment procedure. The testing standard EN 469 is not pertinent and therefore may not be the basis of an "EU approval procedure".

Reflective close proximity clothing, which has solely been tested in accordance with EN 469, lacks the proper conformity assessment procedure and the proof that the clothing conforms with the applicable legal requirements for the product and may therefore be indicated as MED conform and bear the wheel mark.

All economic operators , manufacturers and distributors in particular, are legally obliged to ensure that they are not responsible for any reflective close proximity clothing solely tested with EN 469 to make it available as a MED conform product on the German market and consequently used.

The BSH, as the competent market surveillance authority explicitly reserves the right to take the regulatory measures against the economic operators  concerned in case an infringement of the legal prohibition is established.

Market surveillance department is at your disposal in case of any questions.

Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie
Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 78
20359 Hamburg

Marktüberwachung / market surveillance

Mail: marktueberwachung@bsh.de

Ingolf Eckert
Phone: +49 40 3190-7110
Fax: +49 40 3190-5000
Mail: ingolf.eckert@bsh.de