Planning to import and sell leather bags, wallets, jackets or other leather products in the European Union? In this article, we cover the EU regulations, including labeling, certification, and testing requirements that are applicable to leather products.

Mentioned Products

    Leather shoes
    Leather wallet
    Leather bags
    Leather clothing
    Leather furniture
    Leather watch straps

Content Overview

    General Product Safety Directive (GPSD)
    Leather Furniture Regulations
    EU Leather Labeling Rules

Footwear legislation
The European Union has directed EU countries to align laws relating to the labelling of materials in footwear, protecting consumer interests, and reducing the risk of fraud for consumers and industry. EU legislation on chemicals and personal protective equipment may also affect footwear.
Directive on labelling of materials used in footwear
Directive 94/11/EC on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to labelling of the materials used in the main components of footwear for sale to the consumer

Artificial leather (e.g. PU) may contain excessive amounts of REACH regulated substances, such as lead and mercury. This is also the case for coatings, dyes and printing inks used on authentic leather.
Leather Furniture Regulations

There are two types of furniture standards applicable to leather furniture in the EU, harmonized standards and national standards. Both standards apply to leather furniture sold in the European Union.

Notice that the applicable regulations depend on the following factors:

    Type of furniture (e.g. upholstered, non-upholstered)
    Material (e.g. Cover fabric, foam, and other filling materials)
    Area of usage (e.g. Residential, commercial or public usage)

Harmonized Standards

    EN 1021-1: Ignition source smoldering cigarette (Link)
    EN 1021-2: Ignition source match flame equivalent (Link)

National Standards
National standards may apply in addition to the harmonized standards. Here are some examples of national standards in the EU:

    DIN B1: Germany
    NFP 92 – 503: France
    BS 5852:1990: United Kingdom
    CSR RF 1/75 A: Italy
Other footwear-related legislation

The Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)Search for available translations of the preceding linkEN
 will impose obligations on companies in the sector using chemicals in their production processes.
A European Ecolabel was established for footwear in 1999. It applies to all categories of footwear, including sports, occupational, children's, men's, and women's; and specialist footwear for cold, casual use, fashion, and indoors.
Footwear designed to be worn by individuals for protection against one or more health and safety hazards is covered by the Regulation on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (EU) 2016/425

About European Confederation of the Footwear Industry