SGS Advises Manufacturers on Global Jewelry Regulations

Top Quote With demand for jewelry growing around the world, authorities are introducing regulations to protect their citizens. SGS offers advice on how to ensure products comply with the right standards for a target market. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) July 23, 2018 - The term jewelry covers a diverse group of consumer products, including anklets, arm cuffs, body piercings, bracelets, brooches, chains, charms, crowns/tiaras, cufflinks, earrings, hair accessories, jewelry placed in the mouth, necklaces, pins, pendants, rings, tie clips, and wrist watches. In essence, they are decorative objects that can be worn on clothes, next to the skin, attached to shoes, etc. They are made from a variety of different materials, including ceramics, coating materials, crystals, enamels, glass, leather, metals and alloys, natural materials and plastics.

    Its increasing popularity and the diverse nature of its form and composition means various countries are introducing regulations to protect their citizens from the possible negative effects of wearing items that may contain materials that can be harmful to humans. For example, prolonged exposure to some heavy metals can result in allergic reactions, learning disorders and/or damage to children’s livers and kidneys. In 2017, RAPEX, the European Union’s (EU) alert system for dangerous non-food products, recorded over thirty jewelry notifications, giving an insight into the level of problems associated with dangerous jewelry.

    Manufacturers must understand the regulations that govern jewelry in their target markets, and be aware that a compliant product in one territory may not be accepted in another market.

    EU and European Economic Area (EEA)
    EU’s principle law governing chemical use in consumer products, including jewelry, is Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 - REACH. Annex XVII of REACH regulates the use of chemicals as substances, constituents of substances, mixtures and/or articles and directly relates to products like jewelry. Stakeholders should especially be aware of restrictions relating to cadmium, nickel, azo dyes, chromium (VI) compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), lead and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and its salts.

    Manufacturers should also be aware of the Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHCs). Currently, there are over 190 SVHCs listed, with manufacturers and importers of products containing these substances having the following obligations:
    • Article 7(2) - notify the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) if an SVHC is greater than 0.1% and the total quantity of the SVHC in the articles exceeds one tonne per EU manufacturer or EU importer per year
    • Article 33(2) – they also have a duty to provide the consumer with sufficient information, available to the supplier, to allow the safe use of the article, including, as a minimum, the name of the SVHC, within 45 days of receipt of the request

    United States
    Jewelry products intended primarily for children aged 12 years and under are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) and, often, a local jurisdiction-based regulation that may cover adults and/or children. This can be confusing for manufacturers. In addition, manufacturers also need to be aware of California’s Proposition 65, a unique (Right to Know) law that requires businesses to provide clear and reasonable warnings to Californian citizens about significant exposures to a list of more than 800 chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Once a chemical is listed, businesses have 12 months to comply with this requirement.

    Two ASTM International voluntary consensus technical standards exist for adult and children’s jewelry:
    • ASTM F2923 ‘Standard Specification for Consumer Product Safety for Children’s Jewelry’
    • ASTM F2999 ‘Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Adult Jewelry

    Rhode Island regulates children’s jewelry to ASTM F2923 but, in essence, these are voluntary standards that set out their own set of specifications for individual materials and/or components, including requirements for cadmium content, or soluble, migratable or extractable cadmium as an alternative, lead content, nickel release, soluble elements under ASTM F963, jewelry containing batteries, liquid-filled jewelry products, magnets or magnetic components, mechanical properties and/or warning statements.

    Jewelry is covered by the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA), with jewelry aimed primarily at children under 15 years of age also being covered by the Children’s Jewellery Regulations (CJR) and Surface Coating Materials Regulations (SCMR). Stakeholders should also be aware that, in May 2018, Canada published CJR (SOR/2018-82) to restrict lead and cadmium in children’s jewelry. This will come into effect on November 2, 2018.
    Jewelry destined for the Brazilian market is governed by Ordinance Number 43 of January 22, 2016. This regulation also came into effect in January 2016 and it restricts the use of cadmium and lead in jewelry.

    In China, jewelry is regulated by two mandatory national standards. These are:
    • GB 28480 ‘Adornment-Provision for limit of baneful elements’
    • GB 11887 ‘Jewellery-Fineness precious metal alloys and designation’

    In July 2017, the Omani Ministry of Commerce and Industry published Ministerial Decision 148/2017 of July 10, 2017, regulating children’s jewelry to ASTM F2923 and adult jewelry to ASTM F2999. These came into effect in January 2018.

    To learn more about global regulations relating to jewelry and see a more comprehensive breakdown of European and US regulations, read our article “All That Glitters”: (

    SGS Jewelry Testing Services
    SGS’s global network of accredited state-of-the-art laboratories offer a full range of physical, chemical and functional testing services for components, materials and finished jewelry products. They can devise tailored programs to help demonstrate a product safety and compliance to regulatory requirements, in addition to helping manufacturers understand the requirements of a target market.

    For more information, contact:

    Hing Wo Tsang Ph.D
    Global Information and Innovation Manager
    Tel: (+852) 2774 7420
    Email: ( @ ) sgs dot com

    About SGS
    SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 95,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,400 offices and laboratories around the world.

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