The European Commission has generally classified ice screws, ropes, harnesses and carabiners as “Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),” but for unknown reasons left ice tools out. This month, The European Outdoor Group submitted a technical paper on the issue and then addressed the Committee at its recent meeting in Brussels. The meeting ended with the Committee accepting the EOGs arguments and re-classifying Ice Tools as PPE Category III.
DMM, Petzl, Charlet, Grivel, C.A.M.P. and Edelrid representatives make up the CEN (European Committee for Standardization) Technical Working Committee which is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that safety standards for mountaineering equipment are fully up-to-date. These companies have been arguing the case for the classification of ice tools under the PPE directive in order to provide guaranteed standards of production.
Commenting on this outcome, Mark Held, the secretary general of the EOG, said, “We are delighted that this important committee has accepted our arguments and that the industry can now move forward with the right classification of ice tools. The EOG is a powerful voice for the entire outdoor sector and we are happy that we were able to resolve this issue.”