The European Furniture Industries Confederation (EFIC) and the Austrian Furniture Industry Association have joined in the criticism of the new French furniture-recycling system.

Criticizing Furniture Recycling In France

The two associations criticize in particular what is in their view the disproportionately high bureaucratic process and the associated market-blocking effects for the European single market which represent a breach of the principle of free traffic of goods. EFIC president Markus Wiesner sees the French recycling system as a clear competitive disadvantage for other European furniture manufacturers. Concrete details regarding additional costs generated by the new recycling system and declines in sales already recorded were not provided. According to Dolunay Yerit from the Austrian Furniture Industry Association, all national member associations of the EFIC agree that a legal provision should be created to apply across the whole of the EU. A parliamentary question to be addressed to the competent EU authority is currently under consideration, though a decision on that will be made at the earliest at the end of August 2013 after the summer break in Brussels.

EFIC, the European Furniture Industries Confederation is the voice of the European Furniture industry, was founded in 2006 by seven national federations representing the furniture industries in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Spain and Turkey. Later joined by Portugal, Sweden, Austria, Russia and Norway EFIC now represents about the 70% of the total turnover of the furniture industries in Europe, a sector that employs about 1.5 million workers in close to 150.000 companies.

On the other hand, the Austrian furniture industry is headquartered in Vienna and represents the interests of Austrian furniture manufacturers. As an occupational group of the wood industry, the association is a part of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and unites 47 companies of the furniture sector with its 6,700 employees to one powerful network. Most of the member companies are medium-sized and privately owned enterprises. The industry’s most important export markets are Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Poland.