BRC Global Standards Publishes Revised Global Standard for Consumer Products

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BRC Global Standards has published the fourth issue of its internationally recognized BRC Global Standard for Consumer Products on 1 November 2016, and audits against Issue 4 will replace Issue 3 from 1 May 2017.

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This new approach will enable the Standard to more closely align with buyers’ expectations.

This Standard was first published in 2003 and since then it has undergone extensive changes to support the needs of the wide-reaching consumer products industry. Along the way it has developed into a robust Standard based on the principles of risk assessment and good manufacturing practice (GMP) to deliver safe, legal products of specified quality to the end-consumer.

Issue 4 brings a marked change in structure in the requirements, to reflect the needs of the market. It is composed of two new Standards: Personal Care and Household, and General Merchandise. Each Standard is composed of requirements that can be certificated at two levels: foundation and higher.

Personal Care and Household covers formulated and fabricated products which typically have higher hygiene requirements due to the nature and usage of products. Examples include cosmetics, medical devices, nappies, food wrap and household cleaners.

General Merchandise covers a wide range of mainly fabricated products where management of the production process to ensure the safety and quality of the products is the primary concern. Examples include electrical equipment, toys, furniture, textiles and jewellery.

What’s new in Issue 4?

The benefits of Issue 4 include:

  • a simplified process and approach
  • introduction of a more risk-based approach to the requirements
  • assurance that the Standard meets the actual buying expectations of specifiers whilst encouraging continual improvement
  • introduction of two levels of certification – foundation and higher – to recognize manufacturers with compliant production systems and to allow continual improvement
  • introduction of interim reporting to speed up information transfer to potential customers
  • a widening of the scope from manufacturers and assembly packers to include raw material and component suppliers and products not for direct retail sale (e.g. wholesale)
  • a revised auditor selection programme to further enhance competency and consistency
  • provision for additional voluntary modules to reduce multiple audits.

Grace Abamba, BRC Global Standards Scheme Manager, said:
“The development of Issue 4 has been based on the values of the previous issues while ensuring that the update enables a more simplified and risk-based approach. As well as splitting the Standard into Personal Care and Household and General Merchandise, for a clearer set of requirements, there are also two levels to be audited against: foundation and higher. This new approach will enable the Standard to more closely align with buyers’ expectations.”

The BRC Global Standard for Consumer Products Issue 4 will be available on BRC Participate. BRC Participate offers immediate access to all documents relevant to a particular Standard, linking them clause by clause. Printed copies and PDF downloads are also available for purchase from the BRC Bookshop.

Notes to Editors:

About BRC Global Standards

BRC Global Standards are the world’s biggest provider of safety and quality standards programmes for food manufacture, packaging, storage, and distribution. BRC Global Standards are generated with the help of technical specialists, retailers, manufacturers and certification bodies from around the world, so everything is based on practicality, rigor and clarity.

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Nigel Scott
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