Saudi Arabia has updated technical regulations for textile products which will be implemented on February 23, 2019. Issued by the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organisation (SASO), the regulations define the requirements for textile products and determine the assessment procedures a supplier must adhere to before placing a product in market.
The new ‘Technical Regulations for Textile Products’ were published on August 24, 2018. These look at both consumer health and safety and environmental protection.
The regulations apply to products containing at least 80 per cent by weight of textile fibres (for example curtains, furniture, carpets, clothing, technical fabrics and textiles), and furniture, umbrellas and sunshade coverings containing at least 80 per cent by weight of textile components.
These also apply to 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 per cent by weight of such upper layers or coverings, and 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 also 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, according to the new regulations. Labels must be correct and affixed and shall not include any Quranic verses or the word of majesty and images. In addition, words used on the packaging shall not violate public order, public morality and the Islamic values prevailing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The regulations say that labeling must include 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, and care instructions.
The updated Technical Regulations also specify requirements to protect the environment and the consumer from risks associated with colour 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 formaldehyde, phenols, heavy metals, hazardous dyes, flame retardants, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chlorinated organic compounds, phthalates, and organotin compounds.
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, and Eco-Label or equivalent (granted by an Authority-approved body).
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