by Beatriz Domenech


30th March 2021


As usual, at the beginning of the year, the OEKO-TEX® Association updated the applicable test criteria, limit values and requirements for its range of certifications and labels. The following new standards for OEKO-TEX® STeP standards come into force on 1 April 2021 after a three-month transition period.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the OEKO-TEX® Association modifies the STeP certification process and audit requirements for new and existing STeP clients as follows. The new procedure only applies to clients where travel restrictions apply and the usual STeP certification process cannot be followed.


The Self-Assessment shall be completed by the client in time and the Questionnaire shall be reviewed by the STeP Auditor in time.

New STeP clients applying for the first time for STeP will be audited by the STeP Auditor through a Remote Guided Audit (including a Virtual Office Audit), where an OEKO-TEX® representative will conduct an On-site Audit, guided by the STeP Auditor.

Existing STeP clients who are within the compliance process will be audited by the STeP Auditor through the Virtual Office Audit. The STeP Auditor decides if an additional Virtual Site Visit is necessary. For existing clients who are in the process of recertification, the following audit procedure applies: If there have been no significant changes to the premises, the STeP Auditor will conduct a Virtual Office Audit with the client. If there have been significant changes (in management, units or processes, or additional processes), the STeP auditor will conduct a virtual office audit with the client and a virtual site visit or on-site audit within the next 9 months.

New additions of substances to the list of STeP / DTZ by OEKO-TEX® chemicals:

– Titanium dioxide (CAS 1317-70-0; 1317-80-2): addition of titanium dioxide (TiO2) for respirable size particles to STeP MRSL Group 14


Update of air emission limit values in ANNEX 5 “Air emission limit values”.

– SO2 limits for solid and liquid fuels have been tightened.

  • SO2: For installations with a thermal value between 0,3 MW and 2 MW, 2 MW and 50 MW

Solid fuel mg/Nm³ Minimum: before: 2000 / after: 750 Advanced: before: 1000 / after: 500 Liquid fuel mg/Nm³ Minimum: before: 1700 / after: 650 Advanced: before: 800 / after: 400

  • SO2: For plants with a thermal value > 50 MW

All fuels mg/Nm³ Minimum: before: 1700 / after: 650 Advanced: before: 800 / after: 400


Further development of the STeP questionnaire in relation to the topics listed below:

– GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions within the facility –
Safety in and around the wastewater treatment plant –
Living wage awareness –
Epidemic/pandemic prevention/action plan


After a three-month transition period, the new STeP by OEKO – TEX® standard will become mandatory on 1 April.

For more information on the new OEKO-TEX® test criteria, please contact

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