In April 2021, the Irish Government Department for Enterprise, Trade and Employment announced that it would no longer recognise the UK Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended) (FFFSR) as complying with its equivalent regulation - the Irish Regulations S.I. No. 316/1995 - Industrial Research and Standards (Fire Safety) (Domestic Furniture) Order, 1995, reports FIRA International.

This move, which many across the industry regarded as a u-turn following previous announcements, was in response to the UK no longer being a member state of the EU post-Brexit.

FIRA International has responded to the announcement by the Irish government by gaining UKAS-Accreditation to S.I. No. 316/1995. This will enable the testing house to further support the UK furniture sector in exporting to Ireland through the issuance of test reports which are recognised as following testing to the required standard.

In order to export to the Irish market and ensure compliance, it is imperative to have a test certificate to the S.I. No. 316/1995 - Industrial Research and Standards (Fire Safety) (Domestic Furniture) Order, 1995 for domestic products, states FIRA.

Although there are some similarities between the UK FFFSR and S.I. No. 316/1995, the match testing process is different – mainly in the number of applications and duration of the applications when compared to the UK domestic flammability regulations.

Prior to the u-turn by the Irish authorities, the UK Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended) (FFFSR) were recognised as complying with the Irish Regulations S.I. No. 316/1995 - Industrial Research and Standards (Fire Safety) (Domestic Furniture) Order, 1995. This enabled test reports to the UK version of the domestic flammability regulations to be accepted in Ireland. Labelling requirements were also previously harmonised – but this change in regulation does bring some required amendments to display swing tickets and permanent labelling.

The British Furniture Confederation (BFC) is seeking clarification on some further aspects of the Irish regulations.

Find out more here.