standardisation

Etma with clear focus on flexible tube standardisation

Standardisation has been one of etma’s key tasks since the foundation of the association in 1959. Today, flexible tubes are the most broadly standardized product in Europe. There are currently 22 European flexible tube standards existing which are a worldwide benchmark in the tube industry.

Advantages of industrial standards

Standards provide many advantages in the value chain such as

  • elimination of technical barriers to trade through the harmonisation of specifications and test procedures
  • better competitiveness and efficiency
  • reduced trading costs and simplified contractual agreements
  • increased product quality and consumer safety

In order to keep flexible tube standards up to date, they have to be checked regularly. This is guaranteed through the so-called periodic review procedure in the European Standardisation Institute CEN which takes place every five years. etma is directly involved in this process in cooperation with national standardisation institutes.

Updating of standards in 2021

In 2021 etma’s Technical Committee has worked on updating the following standards which are now undergoing the CEN process finally leading to the adoption as revised standards:

  • EN 12374, Packaging - Flexible tubes – Terminology
  • EN 12377, Packaging - Flexible tubes - Test method for the air tightness of closures
  • EN 13045, Packaging - Flexible cylindrical plastic tubes - Dimensions and tolerances
  • EN 13048, Packaging - Flexible aluminium tubes - Internal lacquer film thickness measurement method
  • EN 16565, Packaging - Flexible tubes - Test method to determine the orientation of the flip-top cap

Standards identified for revision in 2022

Further standards are subject to periodic review in 2022. The Technical Committee’s up-to-date check has revealed that the following standards should be revised:

  • EN 15384-1, Packaging - Flexible aluminium tubes - Test method to determine the porosity of the internal coating – Part 1 Sodium chloride test
  • EN 15384-2, Packaging - Flexible aluminium tubes - Test method to determine the porosity of the internal coating – Part 2 Copper sulphate test

The Technical Committee will – in coordination with the national standardisation institutes – submit the requested changes during the CEN enquiry procedure. In this context, a well-functioning network between etma members and the representatives in the national standardisation bodies is essential so that these bodies vote in favour of the revision.

Flexible tube standards and position papers

You can find a complete list of European flexible tube standards on etma’s website: https://www.etma-online.org/tubetypes.html#standards

Existing standards can be ordered at your national standardisation body. You can find the relevant address in the “Members” list of the European Standardisation Institute CEN https://www.cen.eu.

Apart from flexible tube standards, etma’s Technical Committee has recently also produced or updated several position papers such as:

  • position paper on the quality assurance of flexible tubes during storage
  • position paper on the recyclability of plastic tubes
  • guidance document on material identification and environmental claims

Along these lines etma will continue to determinedly follow its path of producing and updating European flexible tube standards and etma position papers to the benefit of suppliers, tube producers, customers and consumers.