The European Committee for Standardisation (CEN)
, which publishes official standards in Europe, relies on its active members to write normative documents according to a strict development schedule that alternates between the writing (drafting) phases and the approval phases (a substantive enquiry followed by a formal one). The documents may be written by a group within CEN, but they can also be “delivered” to CEN in a nearly final version. This is the case when Cetie invites CEN to accept a document written in full by a Cetie working group.
The standardisation agenda has been particularly busy recently.
First, in the field of PET, CEN is in the process of finalising the harmonised standard EN 17665 in response to the European Directive on Single-Use Plastics. This standard defines the test methods and requirements to demonstrate that the caps and lids remain attached to the containers. This standard was the subject of intense standardisation work in 2019 and 2020, and the final version was validated by the substantive enquiry last summer. CEN must now launch the “formal” enquiry, which will check that the version improved after the first consultation is consistent and comprehensive. This phase does not authorise any technical changes, but editorial ones. The near-definitive text is in fact very close to the draft submitted by Cetie at the end of 2019, after preparatory work with 45 European companies from the entire sector (brands, bottlers, bottle manufacturers, suppliers of preforms, filling machines, moulds, PET resin and caps). The development schedule of the standard provides for final validation and publication in July 2022.
In the same field, Cetie has proposed a revision of the standard EN 16592, which describes the dimensions of the PET finish 29/25 for bottles containing non-carbonated beverages. The new version corrects several dimensions, clarifies the presentation and updates the information on the tamper?evident system and on the possibility of using a tethered cap. The enquiry will be launched in January 2022.
In the field of flaconnage, which mainly concerns pharmacy, cosmetic and perfume applications, a fundamental standard has just been revised. Standard EN 14854 defines the neck finishes for all aerosol and spray glass containers, commonly known as FEA finishes. This specification has been reviewed in depth by Cetie, together with perfumers, glass manufacturers and pump manufacturers, in order to better detail the requirements (in particular the sealing ring on the top of the finish) and to clarify the document, before being submitted to CEN.
Cetie has also been busy in the field of glass containers for beverages and food in general. In particular, Cetie has created and handed over to CEN a standard specifying the neck finish geometry for Champagne bottles (and more commonly for bottles containing wines produced using the so-called Traditional Method), from half-bottles up to 3 litres. Cetie also spent a long time working on a standard for MCA finishes, in order to combine the content of nine European standards in a single document. In addition to the formal benefits of this exercise, which will enable the users of these documents to avoid making all sorts of mistakes, this process was also an opportunity to harmonise some dimensions in order to reconcile the different versions of finishes, when the differences were not justified. These two standards (Champagne finishes and MCA finishes) will soon be listed by the CEN and submitted to an enquiry.
Cetie continues to work actively on all subjects requiring a revision, or even creation from scratch. Consequently, several finishes have been designed and defined directly by Cetie in the last two years, without waiting for any advanced industrial experience. This guarantees harmonisation without taking the risk that everyone will develop their own specific and diverging design. It also enables the tests to be shared and to benefit from the experience and expertise of all.
As soon as CEN has made sufficient progress on the ongoing subjects, Cetie will propose other standards to be registered or updated:
All these documents are currently being written at Cetie and will be sent to CEN once they have been finalised.
Standardization remains a dynamic and forward-looking activity. The industrial efficiency of customers and suppliers, and simplicity for consumers, all benefit fully from these reference documents thanks to the collaborative environment that prevails in the bottling groups and allows for the emergence of quality standards that are well adapted to changing needs. Cetie makes an active contribution through the documents that it submits to CEN, and the numerous other documents in its library that are available to all free of charge.