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Back to overview January 22, 2021

Explaining IMO/MED: the highest standard for fire-retardant fabrics

Our inherently fire retardant fabrics are certified as module E under the Marine Equipment Directive, the stricted FR standard in the world. Read more about this complex fire safety certification here.

FR-One’s fabrics collections are some of the only FR fabrics in the world that are certified as module E under the Marine Equipment Directive (MED).

This is the strictest FR standard that’s internationally recognised. In this article we dive into what this certification means in theory as well as in practice for seafaring vessels of all kinds, from luxurious cruise ships and private yachts to military ships, coastguard and sea rescue outfits, and industrial logistics transportation ships.

optimum fr fabrics imo certified

FR-One & international marine safety standards

Safety measures can always be improved upon, and we at FR-One are continually improving our processes and technical standards too.

Here is a quick guide to FR-One and the marine safety standards discussed in this article:


Our FR fabrics Our company
All FR-One’s inherently fire-retardant fabrics are certified under module E under the MED regulations FR-One is an ISO 9001 certified company
Our fabrics pass : IMO FTPC P8 (upholstered furniture) All MED regulations are implemented under this ISO 9001 certification
Our fabrics pass: IMO FTPC P7 (textiles and films). FR-One is certified as a company under module E of the MED regulations


Let’s go deeper on what this implies for ship outfitters who use our inherently fire-retardant fabrics in their interior schemes.

It begins with The International Maritime Organisation

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) was established in Geneva in 1948​. It plays a key role in ensuring that lives at sea are not put at risk and that the marine environment is not polluted by shipping. ​

cruise ship marine equipment directive imo

International shipping transports more than 80% of global trade to peoples and communities all over the world, and IMO set up the framework for a safety standard to be enforced everywhere, as the ownership and management chain surrounding any ship can embrace many countries.

"The mission of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as a United Nations specialised agency is to promote safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient and sustainable shipping through cooperation. This will be accomplished by adopting the highest practicable standards of maritime safety and security, efficiency of navigation and prevention and control of pollution from ships, as well as through consideration of the related legal matters and effective implementation of IMO’s instruments with a view to their universal and uniform application." – International Maritime Organisation mission statement

In 2010, the IMO enforced a new directive in line with this mission statement: The Marine Equipment Directive, or MED for short.

Explainer: Marine Equipment Directive 96/98/EC

The main objective of the MED is to secure the supply chain using ​only trusted, registered suppliers​ by requiring full traceability and safety records​ of all products use onboard​.

Certification requires that the product (in our case, our fabrics) must pass the following fire safety standards, tested in an accredited IMO/MED laboratory​:

IMO FTPC Part 7: Textiles and films for curtains (test f.k.a. IMO A 471)

IMO FTPC Part 8: Upholstered Furniture for upholstery (test f.k.a. IMO A 652)

IMO wheel mark logoAdditionally, to qualify, the company must be ISO 9001 certified and integrate all the MED regulations within this ISO 9001 certification, and then choose and operate within one of the following modules: D, E, F, G.

 It is only then that CENTEXBEL, the Textile Competence Centre, approves certification.

​Look for the Wheel Mark certification logo on all our fabric collections: this is your verification guarantee.

Related: What are performance fabrics?

Module E – the product quality assurance module

Our FR fabrics are certified under Module E, demonstrating that we have an effective certified quality system in place.

This means that we can guarantee that our entire production process is scrutinised for quality and testing standards.

FR-One is module E: what does it mean in practice? ​

Module E process IMO MED for FR textiles

Inherently fire-retardant fabrics ready for land and sea

Thanks for reading today’s article: we hope you’ve found it helpful in understanding this complex topic. Interested in including our decorative fabrics in your next sea-faring vessel outfit? Get in touch with us today.

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