One of the main requirements is for products to be safe. Obviously, safety is subjective and there are a number of ways presented to assess safety. Where specific product directives (EU) exist for the products, these are applicable. Specific products legislation can be divided into CE regulations and others (FCM, C&PC and REACH)
Most common CE directive are; Toys, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), Medical devices, Low Volt, Rohs and Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).
CE marking is prohibited for products not covered by any CE directive.
EU directive 1935/2004 is covering the Food Contact Materials (FCM) and EU directive 1223/2009 the Cosmetics & personal Care products (C&PC)
Directive 1907/2006 concerns the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)
REACH is a regulation of the European Union, adopted to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals, while enhancing the competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry.
In the absence of specific directives, the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) has provision for using harmonized European standards listed as supporting the GPSD to provide a presumption of conformity with the requirements, in the same way as CE marking directives. Where such standards do not exist, recourse to other harmonised European standards, national standards and codes of practice and the state of the art etc. can be used to support claims of compliance with the safety requirements.
Mid Ocean Brands can always arrange a Declaration of Conformity (DOC) certificate detailing the conformity and responsibility the Company takes on board regarding the safety of the product in question.
All relevant test reports and Declarations of Conformity (DOC) certificates are available to you in our web shop.
Our company, Mid Ocean Brands, participates in the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). This initiative, which was launched in 2003 by the Foreign Trade Association (FTA: www.fta-intl.org), was established as a response to increasing business demands for transparent and improved working conditions in global supply chains. It unites more than 1,900 companies from around the world whose activities range from retail to importing to branding. You can find out more about the BSCI at www.bsci-intl.org.
As a BSCI Participant, our company is committed to the values and principles set out in the BSCI Code of Conduct and to meeting, within our sphere of influence, our responsibility to respect human rights In this regard, it remains fundamental to our company’s approach to integrate the BSCI Code of Conduct, when doing business with all partners regardless of where they source in the world.
The BSCI Code of Conduct version 1/2014 took effect on 1 January, 2014, alongside capacity building activities worldwide, which continue to aim at ensuring that the practical implications are fully understood. We hold the principles and values of the BSCI Code of Conduct in high regard and we integrate them as part of our sourcing practices and regard them as a prerequisite for further developing our business relationships.
In short, this means that all our main suppliers will undergo a BSCI audit by an authorized independent audit company. Our goal is to include a growing number of suppliers in the BSCI monitoring scheme, therefore assisting with the annual increase of BSCI-audited suppliers throughout the supply chain.
We know that responsible manufacturing requires a continuous commitment and can never be taken for granted. We have dedicated Social Compliance personnel that are experienced with social compliance and supplier audits. We also benefit from our Hong Kong purchasing office with employees visiting suppliers in their work as merchandisers and Quality engineers. All are familiar with the BSCI Code of Conduct and we work together to ensure it is being implemented as required.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What is the difference between a DoC and a test report?
A Declaration of Conformity (DoC) is the written statement to demonstrate the fulfilment of the EU requirements relating to a product. It is a signed document stating that the product meets the requirements of the directives that apply to it. It also allows an enforcement authority to identify who is responsible for a product. A test report is the output of quality assurance testing which will be done to ensure the item will meet the European qualification criteria. The test report shows the test result.
- Do all your products meet the required laws and regulations?
Our products are assessed carefully and comply with EU safety, health and environmental requirements. To ensure all products meet the European qualification criteria, quality assurance tests have been performed and all relevant test reports are available.
- Is our national law leading over the European law?
No. The European law is superior to the national laws of Member States. The European law applies to all 28 European member states with a binding force. Therefore, European Member States may not apply a national rule that contradicts to European law.
- Where can we find these documents in the web shop?
Go to the web shop, search for the item number, scroll down to the tool bar, you’ll find them in the tab ‘DOCUMENTATION’.
- How long is a test report valid?
We test our products during manufacturing, so we can adjust the product if necessary. The final test is carried out on the finished goods. This ensures that we ship a fully compliant end product to Europe. A report is valid until the product is adjusted or if the applicable law changes. Then we do a retest of the newly produced product. Mid Ocean set out our own policy concerning the acceptable age of a report, we only accept reports no older than 3 years old.
- Am I allowed to use the documents I can find in our web shop and to forward them to end users?
Yes, all reports published in the web shop are free to forward to end users.
- What is the difference between product- and social compliance?
Product Compliance is all about the product itself, to ensure that the items we import and bring onto the European market are safe. Social compliance is a way of working to help improve the working conditions for the people in the factories who produce our items. Extremely important for us as the buying party, but not mandatory by any law.
- Is social compliance also required by law?
No, it is not a law and it is not required to have a social policy. However, since 90% of our items are produced in China, a country where national laws protecting workers rights are inadequate or poorly enforced, we feel the need to help improve the working conditions for the people who produce our items.
- What is an ethical audit?
An ethical audit measures the cultural behaviour of an organisation, and determines the extent to which its values are embedded across its people and across its processes. This is the controlling part of your social compliance policy. At Mid Ocean Brands we use the audits of the BSCI-program.
- What is BSCI?
The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) is a business-driven initiative for companies committed to improving working conditions in factories worldwide. The BSCI Code of Conduct is a set of values and principles that all BSCI participating companies and their business partners commit to implementing along the supply chain.
- Can you inform about and explain some of these values and principles?
The most important principles are: No child labour, no bonded labour, fair remuneration, decent working hours, no discrimination and ethical business behavior.
- Why did you choose to join BSCI instead of another social auditing scheme?
For us as a company it is extremely important to buy at factories where the working conditions are in line with the national law and the International labour standards. In the BSCI Code of Conduct and the way of working of the BSCI program we found the principles and values which we have in high regard.
- Can you prove your membership of BSCI?
We have a signed Confirmation of Participation that we can provide you on request.
- Does BSCI result in a certification of the item?
No, BSCI is not a certification system, but an audit system. So the factory which produces the item will be audited. The outcome of the audit is presented in an audit report.
- I would like to know if this item is produced in an audited factory. Can you provide this information?
Yes, we can provide you this information. Please ask your regular contact person.
- Why are not all factories audited yet?
We started with BSCI in February 2016. We buy at quite a lot of vendors in China and as you can understand we cannot arrange an audit for all of them in a short period. We’re working hard to fulfill our commitment to responsible business, but this will take a while.
- I have my own Code of Conduct (CoC), can I ask you to sign it?
No, we are BSCI participant and we are committed to the Code of Conduct of BSCI. Remember, in almost all cases the CoC is based on the same agreements. If needed, we can provide you the BSCI Code of Conduct or the Confirmation of Participation.