Kanteq

Knox are the designers, originators, and the company that manufacturers the Kan-Teq equestrian body protector, and also the holder of the CE certification for it.

Knox has been a specialist manufacturer of protective equipment for more than 30 years and have specialized in the motorcycle market. Knox hold numerous CE certifications for motorcylists and mountain bikers body protectors and gloves and distribute these products throughout the EU without any issues whatsoever.

The CE regulations:  The PPE Directive (Personal Protective Equipment) came into force in July 1995 and it was at this time that the European Commission appointed CEN (Centre for European Norms) to create the relevant protective equipment standards to comply with the Directive. Knox were appointed to the EU working group CEN/TC162/WG9 in 1995 as the impact protection representatives for BSI (British Standard Institution) and WG9 created the 1st standard for motorcyclists body protectors in 1997 (EN1621-1). The 1st Equestrian standard (EN13158) became a harmonised standard in 2000 and was created by colleagues in WG11, many of whom at the time were members of both WG9 and WG11.

Importantly, all ENs (European Norms) must comply with the Basic Health and Safety Requirements of the PPE Directive, and all EN standards must refer to this.

The objective of the PPE Directive and the subsequent EN standards that comply with it is intended to create harmonisation and as such the EN’s have identical legitimacy across the European Union, regardless of where the product is certified or used, if it carries a CE mark the user is legally entitled to use it anywhere in the EU and only Market Surveillance Authorities (Trading Standards) have a right to stop the use of such product. However they can only do this if they have evidence of illegal certification or suspicion that the performance does not meet the Basic Health & Safety Requirements of the PPE Directive.

Sometime after EN13158 was harmonised BETA created their own standard, which demands certification to the European Norm EN13158.

Any manufacturer is perfectly entitled to make a body protector and certify it to EN13158:2009 with any authorised test house in the EU, of which there are many. Once certified they are perfectly entitled to distribute and sell the CE certified product FREELY throughout the EU. Any competitor using a body protector that is certified to EN13158:2009 actually complies with the BETA regulations by default because the BETA specification demands compliance with EN13158:2009 as well.

However BETA will only issue labels to companies that pay them a joining fee and a continuing annual fee, and have certification issued from a select no of BETA authorised UK test houses.

A legitimate body protector manufacturer, like Knox, that has obtained legitimate Certification to EN13158:2009 (exactly the same as the BETA specification) can’t sell their product to competing equestrian riders in the UK because the test house is not authorised by BETA and the manufacturer has not paid BETA the fees they demand.

The one simple rule that BETA, BE BHS BRC etc hang onto in a vain attempt to legitimatise the BETA mark is the requirement for annual re-testing.  Other than securing both BETA and their approved test houses regular annual income for a standard which they have no rights to administer, it does nothing to help or benefit the consumer.

The consumer simply can’t benefit from the BETA annual retesting programme because the consumer never has to have their used protector re-tested.

The PPE Directive’s objective it to protect the health and safety of the consumer and everyday user. Is it not intended to protect the financial wellbeing of private trade organisations or test houses.

Supporting this regime is shameful. Both Knox and Kan-Teq strongly request you demand the various British Equestrian Organisations reconsider their position and acknowledge EN13158:2009 as the rightful legitimate standard.