Approval of Embalming Products and Funeral Supplies
Under the terms of the transfer of responsibilities from the French High Council for Public Health to individual health agencies, Ministerial approval for funeral supplies depends on a scientific opinion from ANSES. These products are defined in Articles R. 2213-15, R. 2213-25 and R. 2213-27 of the French General Local Authorities Code (CGCT). They concern coffins, body bags, leak-proof linings, airproof coffins and gas purification devices.
By Decree No. 2006-1675 of 22 December 2006, some of the expertise missions of the French High Council for Public Health were transferred to ANSES, including those concerning approval of embalming products and funeral supplies. The French General Local Authorities Code (CGCT) specifies the scope of these new responsibilities:
- Art. R. 2213-3 – Embalming fluids;
- Art. R. 2213-15. – Body bags;
- Art. R. 2213-25. – Wooden coffins, fittings and accessories inside or outside coffins intended for cremation;
- Art. R. 2213-27. – Airtight coffins and gas purification devices.
To aid it in this mission, the Agency set up a multi-disciplinary working group of independent scientific experts to produce:
- a reference guide for funeral equipment;
- opinions on funeral equipment;
- a reference guide on the efficacy of embalming fluids (Product-Type 22);
- opinions on embalming products, under the terms of Directive 98/8/EC (Product-Type 22) and of the Opinion of 31 July 2007 for manufacturers, distributors, importers and users of products intended for preservation treatment of the bodies of deceased persons.
As a part of its mission, ANSES has also produced:
- assessment guidelines for body bags and coffin liners (July 2010). These guidelines review the criteria listed in Articles R. 2213-15 and R. 2213-15 of the General Local Authorities Code (CGCT);
- assessment guidelines for leak-proof coffins and gas purification devices (February 2012). These guidelines review the criteria listed in Article R. 2213-27 of the General Local Authorities Code (CGCT);
- two Opinions on an application for marketing authorisation for body bags and coffins intended for cremation;
- a reference guide on the efficacy of Product-Type 22 biocides as understood for the transition period mentioned in Directive 98/8/EC (September 2011). The purpose of this reference guide is to identify the efficacy criteria that biocidal embalming fluids must satisfy to be granted approval for use during the transition phase, under the terms of Article 16 of Directive 98/8/EC.