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Number of Standard washing machine loads
Art. 11 EC Regulation n.648/2004
22 December 2016
EC Regulation n.648 of 31 March 2004 has introduced a number of provisions to achieve
free movement of detergents in the internal market, while ensuring high degree of protection
of the environment and health. Among the measures introduced, Art. 11 (4) and Section B of
Annex VII provide for the indication of specific labelling information on dosage:
«The packaging of detergents sold to the general public intended to be used as
laundry detergents shall bear the following information: (…)
for heavy-duty detergents, the number of standard washing machine loads of
‘normally soiled’ fabrics, and, for detergents for delicate fabrics, the number of
standard washing machine loads of ‘lightly soiled’ fabrics».
The Commission published a set of Questions and Answers concerning the correct
implementation of Regulation 648/2004. No answer is provided for the correct
implementation of the above mentioned requirement (i.e. it can be assumed that this
requirement is self-explanatory and no further clarifications are needed).
In addition, since 2005 A.I.S.E. (the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and
Maintenance Products) has published Guidelines on the implementation of the Detergents
Regulation. Section 6.1 refers to “Dosage information labelling guidance” and indicates that:
“The number of standard washes should be clearly identified, preferably prominent on
the front of the package, and may be associated with an appropriate icon/logo, e.g. a wash
basket (see Appendix 3).”
Appendix 3 further specifies that: “The number of standard washing machine loads that can
be washed with the content of a package (…) must be declared.
The number of standard washes should be clearly identified, preferably prominent on the
front of the package, and may be associated with an appropriate icon/logo, e.g. a wash
basket. The decision which of the icons is used is left to the company.
Basket icon designs: (where 00 is the number of standard washes for that pack)
From the above, it is clear that only the number of standard washing machine loads is
required to be indicated on the label. No additional sentences, such as “number of washes”,
Direct confirmation of this interpretation was obtained by the National detergents
associations of the following countries: France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Croatia and
Greece. A.I.S.E. is not aware of any other EU country where the use of the additional
sentence “number of washes” is requested.
Since 2005, the detergents industry has implemented in a harmonized way the above
mentioned provisions and the use of the basket icon design has become the applied
standard across EU. Consumers are well acquainted with this icon and the introduction of an
additional sentence is considered unnecessary.
A.I.S.E. is the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products.
Based in Brussels, A.I.S.E. has been the voice of the industry to EU regulators for 65 years.
Membership consists of 34 national associations across Europe, 18 corporate members and
six value chain partners. Through this extensive network, A.I.S.E. represents over 900
companies supplying household and professional cleaning products and services across
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