We already talked with so many different actors from the residential pellet market but haven’t yet introduced you to the people working at the ENplus® Head Office in Brussels. Today, we have the pleasure of discussing the topic of pellet bag design approval with our colleague Ludmila Smolenschi.
Hi Mila, could you share what are your main responsibilities for the scheme?
I am a contact person for all certified companies when it comes to any issues related to direct licensing. Companies usually need my help when they don’t understand some of the scheme requirements or when they are not sure how to meet some of these. In this sense, I provide guidance and assistance.
A big part of my job is also related to the bag design approval process which many certified and applying companies pass through.
Why is it important for the bag designs to be approved by the scheme‘s management and publicly available on the website?
The short answer to this question is: “It’s just an ENplus® requirement. It was the case before the revision of the scheme and remains valid with the new requirements”. However, I would like to give a bit more details about it.
Over the years, ENplus® has gained a valuable connection with the end-users based on trust. A typical pellet consumer who wants to buy the best quality pellets is well informed about the ENplus® requirements and trusts the scheme.
As a result, just before purchasing, the average pellet consumer would check the database on our website to see if the pellet bag at the shelves of the store is really approved by the scheme or not. If the consumer can’t find its design in the profile of the company on our website, they most likely would not buying these pellets because the quality of the product is not verified by us.
Unfortunately, there are fraudsters on the market pretending to sell certified pellets that haven’t met our requirements for quality and more and more customers are well aware of that. That’s why they check the approved bag designs on our website and that’s why the bag design approval is so important.
This year, all certified companies undergo a reapproval of their bag designs because of the ENplus® revision. Why is that necessary?
The transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2023, therefore, it is important that from the beginning of 2024, all companies do comply with the new requirements in all aspects. The scope of changes includes the bag design and that is why the re-approval is needed.
I would say that this might be a bit challenging. During inspections in 2024, all the bags that are not approved according to the new requirements and are still in use will be reported as a minor non-conformity which can potentially become a major non-conformity leading to suspension. Of course, we would like to help companies avoid such unpleasant surprises. We recommend that the companies re-approve the bags before the end of this year and before ordering a new foil. In this way, they can use the old foil until it’s finished and then switch to the newly re-approved bag designs.
Give some advice to all the companies that will help them pass the approval process as easily as possible.
To read thoroughly and carefully ST 1003 where they will find the full information about the updated bag design requirements. Check out our brochure on the bag design approval process and do not hesitate to contact us via email in case of doubt.