e-marking of prepackages

In order to facilitate the free movement of goods, the states in the European common market (EU and EEA) have agreed on common rules for prepackages within the range 5 g to 10 kg (or 5 ml to 10 l).

The producer may under certain circumstances put a special e-mark on the packages. This mark is not obligatory but, when used, is a guarantee, recognized throughout the common market, that the goods to which it is applied have been packed by weight or volume in accordance with the European Council Directives 76/211/EEC or 75/106/EEC.

The e-mark acts, therefore, as a metrological "passport". 

 

The Directives requires that ...

 This means that ...

The actual contents shall not be less, on average, than the nominal quantity.

You must accept sometimes getting less than what is stated on the package. But you must as often get packages containing too much.

The proportion of prepackages having a negative error greater than the tolerable negative error laid down in 2.4 of Directives 76/211/EEC and 75/106/EEC shall be sufficiently small for batches of prepackages to satisfy the requirements of the tests specified in Annex II of the Directives.

Only a small proportion (not more than 2½ %) of the number of prepackages in a batch may contain less than a certain tolerance allows.

No prepackage having a negative error greater than twice the tolerable negative error given in the table in 2.4 of the Directives may bear the e-mark.

The prepackage shall in any case not contain less than what two times the tolerance limit would allow.

 

 

The packer (or importer, if the prepackage is produced outside the common market) is responsible for ensuring that the prepackages meet the requirements. The actual contents of the prepackages shall be measured or checked on the responsibility of the packer (or the importer). The measurements or checks shall be carried out by means of legal and suitable measuring instruments.

Where the actual contents of every individual prepackage are not measured during the making up procedure, the packer shall:

  • carry out quantity checks on the contents of the packages, using procedures recognised by a competent department, and
  • make and keep records of the checks and corrections he has done.

In all cases it is required that

  • checks by sampling are carried out by the competent department.
The e-mark

The e-mark shall have a very special form. A click on the mark here to the left will give you a closer look at the design and the relative dimensions required by the Directives.

Terminology

A great number of special terms are used in the area of prepacking, especially when it comes to e-marking. A working group within the European Cooperation in Legal Metrology, where RISE is active, has compiled a list of definitions to those terms. You can also find a list with translations of English terms to Swedish, German and French.

e-marking in Sweden

RISE has been checking prepackages for a very long time in Sweden, and is, as a "notified body" appointed by the Government, the competent department in Sweden responsible for performing official checks required for e-marking and recognising the packer's (or importer's) procedures.
On request by a company wishing to e-mark, RISE looks into relevant parts of the quality system, especially the effectiveness of the checking procedures, and performs sampling tests on produced prepackages. If the result is positive, RISE can issue a certificate as a confirmation that the company is capable of taking its responsibilities.

The national regulations for prepackages STAFS 2003:1 and the e-marking regulations STAFS 1993:18 (both in Swedish) are available from SWEDAC (Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment).

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Phone 010-516 50 00, E-mail info@ri.se

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