The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s new ‘Technical Regulations for Textile Products’ will be implemented on February 23, 2019. The new regulations – 13.02.1439H – (24.8.2018) – were published on August 24, 2018.
Issued by the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO), the new technical regulations for textile products define the basic requirements for textile products and determine the assessment procedures a supplier must adhere to before placing a textile product unto the market in Saudi Arabia. The new regulations look at both consumer health and safety and environmental protection.
The regulations apply to:
- Products containing at least 80% by weight of textile fibers (e.g. curtains, furniture, carpets, clothing, technical fabrics and textiles)
- Furniture, umbrellas and sunshade coverings containing at least 80% by weight of textile components
- Textile components of:
- Upper layer of the multi-layered floor covering
- Mattress covers
- Coverings of camping equipment and goods, provided that the components constitute at least 80% by weight of such upper layers or coverings
- Textiles incorporated in other products and forming an integral part thereof, including footwear, bags and head-covers
The regulations define mandatory labeling requirements:
- Labeling on the product, packaging, and technical documents with marketing, must conform with the technical requirements listed in the Technical Regulations and relevant standard specifications
- Label must be legible, visible, clear and in a character set which is uniform regarding its size, style and font. It must be written in Arabic or in Arabic and English, be inerasable and easy to read for the consumer before the purchase, including when the purchase is made through electronic means
- Label must be sewn or firmly attached to the product and should not be easy to remove. It should be in a place commonly used in the textile industry
- Labels must be correct and affixed
- Labels shall not include any Quranic verses or the word of majesty and images and words used on the packaging shall not violate public order, public morality and the Islamic values prevailing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Fibre composition, described by the name listed in the regulation and allowed by mass percentage, in accordance to the relevant standard specifications defied in Annex (4)
- Product weight, size or dimension
- Supplier name and commercial registration on the external packaging
- Country of origin
- Care instructions
The updated Technical Regulations also specify requirements to protect the environment and the consumer from risks associated with color fastness and chemicals used in textile products when they are in direct contact with or close to skin. The listed chemical substances are classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic (CMR), very persistent and very bio-accumulative (vPvB), persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic (PBT), as well as a broad set of substances including:
- Heavy metals
- Hazardous dyes
- Flame retardants
- Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides
- Chlorinated organic compounds
- Organotin compounds
To place an item on the market in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the supplier must obtain a certificate of conformity issued by a notified body according to one of the following two categories:
- Type 3 – children’s products and underwear
- Type A1 – other textile products not including children’s products and underwear
The following technical documentations must be provided:
- Conformity declaration of the supplier (manufacturer / importer) in accordance with Annex 12 of the Technical Regulations
- Product Safety Test Report regarding safety from hazardous chemicals
The regulations make it clear the supplier must cooperate with relevant Regulatory Bodies and with Market Surveillance Authorities.
Products will be treated as meeting the requirements if they bear:
- Saudi Quality Mark or an equivalent
- Eco-Label or equivalent (granted by an Authority-approved body)
Stakeholders should be aware that products for medical purposes or with medical claims are excluded from these Technical Regulations because they fall under the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) requirements and regulations.
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