Clarifications on distributors’ responsibilities relating to the labelling of textile products [EU]

The joint answer of the European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship to two parliamentary question concerning liability relating to the labelling of textile products was published in the OJEU C 331 of 23 September 2014. The Commissioner specified that retailers, wholesalers and other distributors in the supply chain must have knowledge of the applicable requirements, such as the requirements set out in Articles 4, 5, 9, 15 and 16 of Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011 of 27 September 2011 on textile fibre names and related labelling and marking of the fibre composition of textile products, as well as be able to identify products that are clearly not in compliance.

The Commissioner provided clarifications on the responsibilities of distributors in the following cases:

  • When a label of a textile product is not indicated in the language of the Member State on the territory of which the products are made available to the consumer, or it only bears a mechanised processing code:

–  The distributor who agreed to market such products becomes responsible and must face the resulting penalties unless he remedied himself the incompliance and rendered the products compliant with all requirements of Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011;

  •  When it appears that a fibre composition of a textile product does not correspond to what was indicated on the label or marking by the manufacturer or importer:

–  The distributor is obliged to demonstrate to national authorities that he has acted with due care and has affirmation from his supplier that the fibre composition of a textile product was indicated correctly”.

  • When the manufacturer is established outside the European Union (EU):

– “Legal or administrative action may take place against the distributor for a non-compliant product. Further, the distributor takes over the manufacturer’s responsibilities, if he markets the products under his own name or responsibility, notably in the event when he explicitly resigned in a contract to the right of recourse against the supplier”.

Sources :

Questions for written answer E-001302/14 and E-001303/14 to the Commission and join answer given by the Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship on 26 March 2014, OJEU C 331 of 23 September 2014, p. 24