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ISO Consumer update

No. 13 - December 2012

….An update of ISO's activities regarding standards and consumer protection, for the members and stakeholders of the ISO Committee on consumer policy (ISO/COPOLCO).

ISO/COPOLCO is ISO's forum for promoting consumer interests in standardization. Its mission is to:

  • Enhance the market relevance of International Standards by promoting and facilitating the input of consumers' views into ISO's policies, procedures, standards and services
  • Help consumers around the world benefit from standardization.


You are receiving this eNewsletter because you are involved in the activities of ISO/COPOLCO.

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Contents

 

What's happening …

Successful workshop week to assess impact of ISO 26000

ISO held three major workshop events on Social Responsibility in Geneva from 5-9 November 2012 to assess the impact of ISO 26000:2010, Guidance on social responsibility and consider future directions.

Some 120 participants from about 70 countries exchanged their experience on ISO 26000in a developing country forum on 5-6 November. Then, over 300 participants from the private and public sectors, including national standards bodies, met on 7-8 November in the ISO 26000 Forum.

This was an excellent opportunity to share experience, best practice and lessons learned, as well as to highlight areas for improvement. The Post Publication Organization's Strategic Advisory Group met on 9 November to gather and consider the week's conclusions.

Find out moreabout these events, including presentations and experts' views. Get to know ISO 26000, the proud achievement of ISO's biggest and most inclusive working group.

 

New and improved …instructions for use of consumer products

ISO and IEC have just published the revision of ISO/IEC Guide 37, Instructions for use of consumer products. This third edition revises a version dating from 1995 and reflects how consumers' needs in instructions for consumer products have changed.

ISO/IEC Guide 37 gives advice on clarity of language and accuracy of different language versions of instructions, taking into account the greater volume of goods purchased outside of their country of origin. The Guide also contains new provisions for use of the Internet, e.g. for posting instructions. It applies principles of accessibility: for example, easier readability of instructions by the elderly or consumers with disabilities through enhanced print size and better use of illustrations.

ISO/IEC Guide 37 incorporates research on effectiveness of product instructions and warning labels to enable consumers to follow instructions more closely.

The Guide is for committees preparing standards for consumer products, and also for product designers, manufacturers, technical writers and other people developing instructions.  The new edition complements a newly revised international standard, IEC 82079-1, aimed primarily at manufacturers.

See more.

 

ISO/COPOLCO plans workshop on innovation and product safety in 2013

ISO/COPOLCO will consider how innovation affects product safety at its next annual workshop on 21 May 2013, on the theme of innovation and consumer safety.  The Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA) will host the workshop at the Grand Hotel Excelsior, near Valletta, in conjunction with the COPOLCO plenary meeting week from 20-24 May 2013.
 
Consumer product safety has improved over the past forty years thanks to greater consumer awareness and engagement, standardization and better regulatory controls. Yet… innovation has added a new dimension to product safety concerns  with Internet-based purchasing, new technologies, and global supply chains.

The workshop will deal with challenges and opportunities in specific areas: food production and processing technologies, health care products and toys. While the workshop caters to COPOLCO member representatives and stakeholders, it is open to the public and all are welcome. To find out more, please contact Ms. Dana Kissinger-Matray, Secretary of COPOLCO, at copolco@iso.org.

 

Follow us on Twitter! Receive ISO consumer tweets

We have just launched a Twitter page you are invited to follow. This complements our Facebook page and other means of connecting with concerned individuals and consumer and civil society organizations interested in standards and consumer protection. Go to twitter.com/ISOConsumers.

Facebook remains our main forum for your contributions and questions, where members and stakeholders can freely share news and debate issues related to standards, legislation and consumer protection. Join our online community at  facebook.com/IsoConsumers.

Follow us on Twitter, friend us on Facebook, and join the discussion now!

 

What's new in International Standards

Packaging that's not for presents

Every day, children die or become ill because they have ingested medicines, household cleaning or do-it-yourself products. A new ISO standard for packaging of everyday products will help to save children from death and injury.

ISO 13127:2012, Packaging – Child resistant packaging – Mechanical test methods for reclosable child resistant packaging systems, will help designers and manufacturers to ensure that children cannot open potentially dangerous products.

See more.

 

Safer toys for the holidays

In advance of the end-of-year holiday season, a newly revised and improved ISO standard aims to reduce even further the risk of a child being injured by unsafe toys.

The improved ISO 8124-1:2012Safety of toys – Part 1: Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties, defines requirements and test methods for toys intended for use by children under 14 years of age, and sets age limits for various requirements. Appropriate warnings and/or instructions for use on certain toys or their packaging are also given.
 
See more.

 

Safer online environment thanks to new cyberspace standard

A new ISO standard will help ensure safety of online transactions and personal information exchanged over the Internet, and protect your computer when browsing any Websites.

As we rely on the Internet for all kinds of activities, from sharing important work files to paying our bills, cybersecurity has become a key concern for all of us. A new ISO standard, ISO/IEC 27032:2012, Information technology – Security techniques – Guidelines for cybersecurity, will make cyberspace safer.

See more.

ISO has developed a standard for assessing the quality of the elevator ride, by specifying the definition, measurement, processing and expression of vibration and noise signals that affect a user’s experience. It consists of two parts:

ISO 18738-1:2012, Measurement of ride quality - Part 1: Lifts (elevators)

ISO 18738-2:2012, Measurement of ride quality - Part 2: Escalators and moving walks

ISO 18738 helps manufacturers understand passenger experience because it provides measurements that correspond to what users perceive, for example, by taking into account factors such as the acoustic characteristics of the immediate environment.

See more.

 

W3C Web content accessibility guidelines become ISO/IEC International Standard

As the Web becomes an increasingly important tool for fulfilling everyday tasks, a new ISO/IEC standard will increase accessibility for people with disabilities. The new ISO/IEC 40500:2012, Information technology – W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, will also make the Web more usable for all.

Originally developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the guidelines included in the standard address the challenges that people with disabilities may face  – including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities and photosensitivity.

See more.

 

ISO road safety standard could help save thousands of lives

ISO has just published ISO 39001, a management system standard for road traffic safety. The standard is a practical tool for governments, vehicle fleet operators and all organizations worldwide who want to reduce death and serious injury due to road accidents. ISO 39001 provides them with state-of-the-art requirements for safety aspects including speed, vehicle condition and driver awareness. ISO 39001:2012, Road traffic safety (RTS) management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, is widely regarded as a major contribution to the United Nations' Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

See more.

 

Around the world … COPOLCO member news

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

Three national mirror committes to track COPOLCO priority areas

The Office Congolais de Contrôle (OCC) has created three national mirror committees for social responsibility, second hand goods and financial services.  The lead for each area has been taken respectively by the Federation of Congolese Enterprise, the FEC, the Association of Consumers of Food Products, ASCOVI, and the Central Bank of Congo, the BCC.

Special recognition is given to the importance of ISO 26000 on Social Responsibility for its role in sustainable development by respecting both environmental and consumer rights. Additional financing has generously been given by the United Nations Development Fund UNDP, and the national Social Fund set up by the World Bank, the FSRDC.

For more information: occ-rdc.cd/article908.html (in French).

 

FIJI

New consumer-reality TV show Dollars & Sense airs nationally

Get ready to watch consumer reality television shows that will enlighten you on your rights and responsibilities when making credit purchases. Fiji’s Consumer Council with partners Aus AID and Fiji TV have launched Fiji’s first-ever national consumer show, Dollars and Sense. Using real-life experiences of local consumers, it educates and empowers the general public on their rights and responsibilities when accessing credit and other forms of consumer finance, to better understand the true costs of borrowing, and make informed decisions.

By including the voices of multiple stakeholders in the economy such as financial institutions, credit providers, academics, consumer watchdogs and poor and vulnerable consumers, Dollars and Sense supports consumer protection and balanced economic development.  Airing now on Fiji One, Tuesdays at 8 pm,  since the 16th October 2012. See more at: fijitv.info/dollars__sense

 

GERMANY

IEC honours DIN Consumer Council staff member

Dr Gabriela Fleischer has received the 2012 IEC 1906 Award for her role in developing the concept for IEC 82079-1:2012. This standard deals with general principles and detailed requirements for the design and formulation of instructions for use of products of all kinds.
Dr Fleischer has gained many years of experience in  consumer affairs in Germany’s consumer federation, vzbv; in ANEC, the European consumer voice in standardisation’s environment and nanotechnology working groups; and in ISO member DIN’s Consumer Council which specializes in issues such as the environment, nanotechnology, and child safety.
Developed by the IEC in cooperation with ISO, this standard has been adopted as European Standard EN 82079-1. The 2012 IEC award recognizes exceptional achievement – on a recent project or other specific contribution - related to its activities and significantly advancing its work. See more.

 

UNITED KINGDOM

A Consumer charter for regulators

The recent financial crisis has shaken trust in regulation, especially in financial services, and has highlighted economic and consumer benefits of more effective regulation for many. Yet, consumers do not know what to expect from regulators – they may not be aware of regulations, or of the regulators' differing roles and processes.

A coalition of leading consumer organizations has written to the Chairs of Parliamentary Select Committees urging them to use its new Consumer Charter to hold the UK’s regulatory bodies to account for their performance in protecting consumers.

The move follows an NCF Consumer Congress Workshop in March 2012, sponsored by Consumer Focus, entitled Are regulators failing the consumer? and shocking new research by Which? highlighting a lack of public confidence in how key professions are regulated. Just one in 10 people consider that bankers are regulated effectively, while more than half the population considers that none of the professions are well-regulated. 

For more information: http://www.ncf.info/content/charter-regulators  and  http://www.consumerfocus.org.uk/feature/consumer-charter-for-regulators

The new consumer landscape, successes and challenges ahead: The BSI all-consumer members meeting

Members of BSI’s Consumer & Public Interest Network had a successful meeting at BSI on 13 December. This event was facilitated by CPIN Chair Lynn Faulds Wood. CPI representatives fed back on some of the challenges and successes from their own work, including their involvement in the publication of ISO 14452, Network services billing – Requirements, European work on instructions and a possible workshop in Paris in October 2013 on Societal Security and how it affects citizens. There was an update on the implementation of ISO 26000, Guidance on social responsibility within BSI, and the work of Standards Solutions in the Social Policy area.

Colleagues from Citizens Advice, the Trading Standards Institute and the new Regulated Industries Unit also gave brief presentations on the new UK consumer landscape.

 

Did you know …?

… that ISO has standards for pasta, lawn mowers and even toothbrushes? Most people recognize the “ISO brand” due to the success of ISO 9001 or even ISO 14001, and would be surprised to discover that’s not all we do.

See more in our November/December 2012 issue of ISO Focus+.

 

To find out more...

Visit us in the consumer section of ISO's Web site, ISO Online, www.iso.org. Consult: "Resources for ….. Consumers".

Is the ISO member in your country a member of COPOLCO? If not, encourage this national standards body to join COPOLCO!

For a full list of ISO members, see
www.iso.org/iso/about/iso_members.htm
.

Is your organization a member of Consumers International? Find CI at www.consumersinternational.org.

Questions …? Comments… ? News to share…? Subscription requests …..? We would like to hear from you!  Contact us at copolco@iso.org

 

ISO Consumer update is a free service by the Secretariat of the ISO Committee on consumer policy (ISO/COPOLCO).
Editor: Ms. Dana Kissinger-Matray, Secretary of ISO/COPOLCO.

ISO Consumer update gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the Marketing, Communication and Information services of the ISO Central Secretariat.

 
 

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