Loschelder supports Armacell in preventing the sale of incorrectly labelled insulation material
Armacell GmbH, one of the world's leading suppliers of insulation materials, has successfully challenged the sale of insulation products distributed with inaccurate statements regarding the reaction to fire classification. At Armacell's request, the Hamburg Regional Court issued an interim injunction provisionally prohibiting a competitor from marketing certain products if they do not have the advertised fire class (Case No. 327 O 248/18).
According to the advertising and the declaration of conformity presented by the competitor, the CE-certified products should meet the requirements of fire class "B" of the relevant EN/DIN standards in the event of a fire. However, a total of eight tests of product samples by two German material testing institutes (Materialprüfungsanstalten) had shown that the products actually only met the lower requirements of the classes "C" or "D", i.e. the products are much easier flammable. For this reason, after extensive oral proceedings, the Hamburg Regional Court has provisionally ordered the sale of the corresponding insulating materials be stopped.
The proceedings raise fundamental questions about the court's power to review existing CE certification and the conduct of appropriate tests. In the competitor's opinion, a judicial review should be excluded because the product properties, in particular the reaction to fire classes, are proven by the existing certification and the corresponding declaration of conformity. This interpretation however was rejected by the 27th Civil Chamber of the Regional Court of Hamburg. The Court made it clear that the legal assessment of the matter depends on the product properties of those insulation materials actually distributed. Accordingly, Armacell could bring the matter to court and obtain a decision whether the competitor’s products in fact showed the performance required for the fire class specified in the CE certification and in the advertising. Furthermore, the Regional Court has decided that the tests do not have to be carried out with samples taken from the manufacturer's warehouse as is usually done during the CE certification procedure. Rather, Armacell was allowed to use product samples purchased in the market for the purpose of testing.
Armacell GmbH was represented by Dr. Stefan Maaßen, LL.M., and Dr. Patrick Pommerening.