BIFMA Compliant Update
Thursday, February 20, 2020
Posted by: Brad Miller
Grand Rapids, MI - BIFMA members and industry stakeholders continue to work to address the identified market need for increased clarity and consistency regarding product conformance to industry standards. BIFMA Compliant is the proposed vehicle to assist the market in communicating conformance with the BIFMA mechanical standards.
Key elements of the program include:
· The program will cover nine mechanical standards that focus on safety and durability.
· The program will be open to BIFMA Members as well as non-member companies.
· Testing must be conducted in an ISO 17025 accredited test lab with the relevant BIFMA standard(s) in the Scope of Accreditation. The lab may be a 1st party (in-house) or 3rd party lab.
· Test reports will be subject to random audits by BIFMA staff.
· A company executive must sign a formal agreement with BIFMA to participate. There is a fee to participate.
· An aggregated product registry will list conforming products on a new website for market affirmation.
· Participating manufacturers may use a trademarked “BIFMA Compliant” mark for their products and marketing materials.
Members of the BIFMA Marketing and Technical Committees are finalizing details for the program roll-out this year. We anticipate beginning to work with manufacturers on agreements in the second quarter of 2020 and opening up the website registry for loading in the third quarter of 2020 to support the registry launch date of October 1, 2020.
The BIFMA Board of Directors met in late-January to review the implementation launch schedule. In response to input, the Board voted to permit the following transitional implementation for organizations requiring additional product testing time:
For companies that are not in compliance with the ISO 17025 testing requirement by October 1, 2020:
1. Products tested in a non-accredited lab they wish to submit to the registry must have test reports from a lab that has since achieved ISO-17025 accreditation on or before October 1, 2020, with the applicable BIFMA standard(s) included in the scope of accreditation.
2. The CEO shall submit a signed statement to BIFMA,
a. With affirmation that the products were tested in the same manner as post-accreditation testing is conducted and conform with the relevant BIFMA standard(s)
b. Along with a plan for retesting the products in the same 17025 accredited lab by October 1, 2021 -- with agreement to submit quarterly updates to BIFMA on progress against that plan
c. And an agreement to immediately (within 30 days) submit a test report from the accredited lab for any product that is challenged
3. If the retest plan meets the above criteria, those products will be included in the registry with a designation that indicates “retest pending” and an explanation of what that means
4. Once the company completes retesting in the 17025 lab, the “retest pending” mark is immediately removed
5. If there is a valid challenge as defined in the BIFMA Compliant Scheme, the company will immediately retest the product in the 17025 lab and submit a valid test report to BIFMA within 30 days and submit documentation that shows complete compliance with BIFMA standards; otherwise all the “retest pending” products from that company will be removed from the registry
6. If BIFMA has evidence a company is not testing their products in accordance with the accepted retest plan, BIFMA has the option of removing all “retest pending” products from the registry
By October 1, 2021 all retesting should be complete (per item 2. b.) and any products still carrying the “retest pending” designation will be removed from the registry.
We will share future communications as we finalize more details. For Technical questions please contact Dave Panning at firstname.lastname@example.org. For Marketing questions please contact Jennifer Wammack at email@example.com.
BIFMA is the not-for-profit trade association serving business and institutional furniture manufacturers. Since 1973, the organization has been the industry leader in developing furniture safety, durability, and sustainability standards that insure product performance and inspire confidence. BIFMA educates the stakeholder community on the importance and proper use of these standards; provides industry statistics and forecasts to members and the public; and advocates for regulatory conditions that enhance value and foster innovation.