ECARF Seal of Quality »

The ECARF Seal of Quality

The ECARF Seal of Quality has been awarded to allergy-friendly products and services since 2006. Seal holders include consumer goods such as cosmetics, washing or cleaning products, clothing, technological products and services such as those offered by hotels and restaurants.

The certified products and services are suitable for people with allergies and intolerances. They offer a special advantage by simplifying the everyday lives of allergy sufferers, because no matter in which area of life, transparent information is always valuable and helpful for dealing with allergies. We also consider it important for certified products to be similarly priced to comparable products or services for people without allergies. The Seal was developed by the ECARF Foundation in close collaboration with experts from various fields. Available in over ten languages, it stands for certified quality and the active support of consumers faced with allergy-related decisions.

The Seal is awarded as a voluntary service provided by the ECARF Foundation and is granted to applicants upon fulfilment of specific quality requirements.

Certification Procedure

Application for the Seal

An application can be submitted using the application form for a product or service. Fill out the form by providing all of the requested information and send it back to us with the listed documentation (please click here for contact details). We will then contact you for the second step, which is the inspection.

Inspection

In order to receive the ECARF Seal of Quality, the product or service must fulfil specific requirements and be proven safe while improving the quality of life of allergy-sufferers.

The criteria established by the independent members of the advisory board appointed by the ECARF Foundation determine the specific requirements and specifications for the given products/service areas. These must be fulfilled in order to obtain the ECARF Seal of Quality.

The criteria

The Seal is awarded as a voluntary service provided by the ECARF Foundation and is granted to applicants upon fulfilment of specific quality requirements. The Scientific Advisory Board appointed by ECARF acts as an independent standard setter: The Board develops the necessary criteria based on a scientifically- based viewpoint.

As independent testing and certification institution, ECARF Institute is responsible for the organizational processing and the certification process. ECARF Institute tests products and services on the basis of criteria predefined by the ECARF Foundation.

The ECARF Foundation reserves the capacity to evaluate the inspection results in terms of meeting the required criteria and to determine whether to grant the Seal of Quality as the sole authority.

The ECARF Seal is awarded by ECARF (European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation) as a voluntary service.

Here you can find more information on the criteria for the certification process.

Quality management/assurance, validity and recertification

Independent experts (doctors and scientists) ensure that the products are suitable for allergy sufferers and that any related information is accurate. A significant part of quality assurance is allergen management. Depending on the product, inspections are carried out on the submitted data sheets, documentation, allergy management during storage and manufacturing processes, product composition, the product itself, and the training provided.

The applicant receives the results once the inspection is completed.

Granting of the Seal

The inspection institute summarises the results and generates an assessment. Based on this, the ECARF Foundation decides whether to grant the ECARF Seal of Quality.

Validity

The Seal is valid for a period of two years.

After the two-year validity period has expired, the seal holder can apply for a two-year extension of the validity period.

Recertification

Products

Product recertification may be received by applying for an extension. The application should include a statement that no changes have been made to the product in terms of manufacturing and design. The applicant is responsible for submitting the application on time. In order to ensure uninterrupted validity of the Seal, the application must be submitted at least 6 weeks before the expiry of the validity period.

If the product has been changed, you should use the application form for the recertification of a changed product. Please provide a specific and detailed description of the changes so that they can be evaluated against the ECARF criteria.

Services

Certification for a service may be renewed by applying for service recertification. Employees will require retraining and an on-site inspection must be performed. After we receive your application, we will forward you a summary of the costs. The applicant is responsible for submitting the application on time. In order to ensure uninterrupted validity of the Seal, the application must be submitted at least 6 weeks before the expiry of the validity period.

For contact details please click here.

Terms and conditions of use, costs, safety and liability

The Seal may only be used with the certified product. Upon signing the terms and conditions of use, the applicant agrees to use the ECARF Seal only with the product or service that has been evaluated by ECARF. Download the Terms and Conditions of Use (PDF).

Monitoring

Compliance with the stipulated criteria and the terms and conditions of use, the evaluation of the product quality, and the exclusion of allergen contamination during the validity period of the Seal are monitored by the ECARF Foundation or an independent inspection institute. Monitoring is also required for extensions.

In the event that the Seal criteria are violated, a demand will be made for improvement within a defined reasonable period of time. If necessary, further measures will be imposed. The ECARF Foundation decides on an individual basis whether to impose penalties and at which level, such as a warning, fine, or the revocation of the Seal.

What are the costs for using the seal?

The Seal is granted following a successful evaluation by the ECARF Foundation and does not carry a license fee.

An administration fee is charged for the processing of the Seal application including the issuing of the Seal, and for the extension of the validity of the Seal.

Safety and liability

The Seal represents an award for the efforts made by the manufacturer or service provider towards achieving a certain level of quality. However, it cannot completely rule out the possibility of an allergic reaction. Sensitivities to allergens are highly individual and depend on many factors. For example, the minimum amount or threshold value required to trigger allergy symptoms varies according to the individual.

The Seal does not represent a certificate of general safety. ECARF cannot assume liability for any intolerance or damages sustained due to improper use.

The manufacturer shall bear sole liability for the ongoing accuracy of the data provided on the products and for compliance with the criteria.

Product database

Our product database provides information to consumers and the general public on products and services that currently hold the ECARF Seal of Quality.