European equestrian riding helmet standards

16th Dec 2014

It has been announced by the EU Commission that the European Equestrian Riding Helmet standard (BS)EN1384 is to be withdrawn from the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ) at its next publication.  This means that hat manufacturers will no longer be able to CE mark their hats using this standard and will need to recertify to a specification currently being developed. 

The withdrawal of the standard has no effect on riding hats already on the market.  Once a hat has been manufactured to a standard it will not become "non-standard" after withdrawal and can continue to be sold and worn.  If riders have hats certified to the EN1384 they can continue to use them unless stated otherwise by rules of competition.

The existing EN1384 standard is currently in the process of revision. The withdrawal is due in part to the European working group responsible for the hat standard failing to reach an agreement on this overdue revision and subsequently causing the Commission to take this drastic step.

The draft proposal for the revision to EN1384 has to go through the laborious procedure of comment and review and it is still unclear when the final version will be published. An interim specification is being developed by a group of EU test houses and notified bodies (VG1) that will span the gap with a new specification. We expect to have this confirmed within the next few days.

In the future, CE marked riding hats will have to be successfully tested and certified against an alternative specification to allow CE certification to continue. Companies can choose which they use and could include the new VG1 specification, the revised EN1384 once published, PAS015. Riding hats cannot be CE marked solely to Snell, ASTM F1163 or the AS/NZ3838(2006) without additional testing.

The EN1384 and thus the BSEN1384 specifications have proved to be a popular standard throughout Europe with a wide appeal and have saved many riders from head injury, or death. 

Whilst initially being promised a period of transition by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the industry has now received news that this option has been retracted.  This means that manufacturers will need to re-certify their (BS)EN1384 hats to the revised specification sooner than anticipated. 

As a result of these recent changes, the disciplines and riding bodies within the UK will be reconsidering their hat rules for the future.  Full details of the changes currently available are listed below.

British Eventing - British Eventing will permit (BS)EN1384 hats in 2015 but not thereafter.
All hats will be retagged in 2016 at which stage no hats made solely to (BS)EN1384 will be tagged or permitted for use.

Riding Clubs – British Riding Clubs will permit (BS)EN1384 hats in 2015 but not thereafter.
All hats will be retagged in 2016 at which stage no hats made solely to (BS)EN1384 will be tagged or permitted for use.

The Pony Club - will permit (BS)EN1384 hats in 2015 but not thereafter. Full details of the revised Hat Tagging procedure will be communicated out to the Membership and Volunteers shortly.

British Dressage – will permit (BS)EN1384 hats in 2015 but not thereafter

British Showjumping - will permit (BS)EN1384 hats in 2015 but not thereafter

British Horse Society – will permit (BS)EN1384 hats in 2015 but not thereafter. From 1 January 2016 hats made solely to (BS)EN1384 will not be permitted for use in BHS Approved Centres.