The European security industry is getting itself ready for possible regulation of the electronic security sector in 2016.
Euralarm, the European association which represents national associations and individual companies in the fire and security industries from more than 17 European countries, has joined as an associate member of Orgalime to give it a louder voice in lobbying the EU Commission.
Orgalime describes itself as representing the manufacturing heart of Europe of some 20 million people, with a value of 1800bn Euros. Euralarm and Orgalime have been working closely for many years, with Orgalime providing input to Euralarm’s Technical Committee Compliance monitoring report.
The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) was a founding member of Euralarm in 1970. Alex Carmichael, Technical Director at the BSIA, has worked closely with Euralarm over a number of years. SecurityNewsDesk asked him to explain the significance of Euralarm joining Orgalime.
“Euralarm brings security products within the orbit of Orgalime to lobby on behalf of the industry, directly into the Commission. Euralarm does that already on many issues but when we come to product directive requirements that’s what Orgalime does and it does it very well,” Carmichael said.
“With the European Security Industrial Policy which came out in 2012 and kicked off in 2014 and with the possible regulation of the electronic security industry in 2016, it’s important that we cover all of our bases.”
Carmichael is set to leave the BSIA and go to the SSAIB as its new Chief Executive in March 2015.
“And as you know, with a number of the directives, like the REACH directive, which restricts the use of certain hazardous materials in equipment, ie lead and cadmium, that can have a big impact on manufacturers. If you think of the costs and the manufacturing processes which might have to change if there are restrictions, it is quite important that the manufacturers are in their lobbying.”
However it’s not a question of lobbying for weaker environmental controls: “What the industry organisations through Orgalime bring into it is some practical issues that need to be discussed and overcome for the directive to come in and to make the Commission aware that if they put in too stringent requirements then the industry will just stop and buy everything from America and China.
“If they say we no longer want you to use lead to connect components together, then what do you use? You have to look at alternatives but you also have to look at the timeframe of how long it will take to change the manufacturing processes. So it’s quite complicated and that’s why you need a check and balance against the proposals that the Commission put up.”
Ultimately these Directives have an impact on the UK and every European country. “Orgalime writes a lot of documents and puts the industry’s position into the Commission. They sit down with their manufacturing groups – and Euralarm will be one of them – and they put the concerns of the industry into the proposed Directives, so it’s all part of the negotiations, as the Directive goes through the process to become a full European Directive and then ultimately part of UK legislation when the Directive is implemented under UK legislation.”
Euralarm says it shares many goals and objectives with Orgalime regarding the internal market and promoting an efficient and effective European standardisation framework. By combining with Orgalime, Euralarm will be able to ensure that the fire safety and security industries have a louder voice in Europe and will be properly heard by CEN/CENELEC and the EU Commission through regular meetings and communications.
Euralarm was formally accepted as an Associate Member at Orgalime’s General Assembly, in Brussels, on 5 November. Euralarm´s General Director Glen Dale was invited to present Euralarm and its activities to the Orgalime Board at their General Assembly, which was also their 60th anniversary.
Euralarm represents the electronic fire and security industry, providing leadership and expertise for industry, market, policy makers and standards bodies. Our members make society safer and secure through systems and services for fire detection, intrusion detection, access control, video monitoring, alarm transmission and alarm receiving centres. Founded in 1970, Euralarm represents over 5000 companies with an estimated cumulated revenue of 18 bn Euros. Euralarm members are national associations and individual companies from more than 17 European countries.