The quality of a product is certified by a multitude of compliance certificates and labels. Once granted, these increase customer confidence.
Compliance certificates and quality labels serve manufacturers as well as sellers and buyers. Manufacturers can acquire certification for the specific functions, properties, quality, etc. of their products and services, providing both sellers and buyers with confirmation or a sense of security.
Quality labels are graphic or written marks affixed to products. They attest to quality for buyers and, depending on how well-known they are, guide buyers. For example, energy-efficient electrical appliances are marked with a specific label, helping buyers with their purchases.
In principle, any company or organization can create its own quality label. There are no statutory regulations in this area. For example, major distributors have created their own labels which they affix to their corresponding products.
These visual marks or logos are often called “control labels” or “inspection labels”. The various names are not defined precisely and can lead to confusion. Restrictions on this point are vague, but we can say that quality labels represent a specific quality or usability, whilst inspection labels indicate that significant safety requirements have been verified and observed.
Manufacturers and suppliers of a certain type of product are increasingly forming quality associations. For example, in order to create a quality certificate relating to a group of products, such as a label for carpets or for wool. Sector-based institutions, handling as a priority the organization, administration and issuance of control or quality labels, have also been set up.
Technology and society have been constantly evolving since 1965. The number and complexity of products and services available have increased exponentially. Increased competition and technical progress have radically altered the prevailing conditions for market players. Whilst these changes admittedly offer excellent opportunities, they also conceal certain risks for consumers. This is why the Swiss Federal Consumer Affairs Bureau (BFC) was created in 1965. It operates as an agency liaising between consumers and the federal government. One of the BFC’s main tasks, in the context of the process of development laws and standards, is to help create the necessary groundwork for the protection of consumer rights. In collaboration with the SECO, the BFC also provides announcements and information about product safety, and handles the secretarial work of the Swiss Federal Consumer Affairs Commission (CFC). More information about the BFC and the work it does is available here in German: https://www.konsum.admin.ch/bfk/de/home.html