It is a recurring question for which there is no straightforward answer because it all depends on who or what you are dealing with. All requirements have a reason to be mentioned.
In most cases the answer is "focus first on A and B"; but please do not forget about C, D, E and F !
Standards and requirements that are related to the design of the product. In most retail organisations it is the responsibility of the purchasing department to ensure that this information, together with product specifications, have been made available to the supplier.
The supplier in return has to provide the evidence: a test report, certificate, declaration or similar document.
The majority of the requirements is in this category, it includes the harmonised standards that typically are applied to show compliance with the essential requirements of directives, such as: Toys, LVD, EMC, R&TTE, PPE and more.
Where category A requirements relate to the construction and design, B requirements relate to the actual production of the product and the materials used. Has the product been made as it was originally tested? It is important to check if materials that are used during manufacturing of the product are not in conflict with legislation (REACh, RoHS, Food Contact Materials, etc.).
We differentiated the category B in three subcategories (B1, B2 and B3) dependent on the penalties that market surveillance authorities may proclaim.
The combination of requirement categories A and B creates the minimum for a technical file as expected by the market surveillance authorities. So here you have your first focus: A + B
These are requirements that are used to prove performance or functional aspect of a product. The owner of such claims is in most organisations the marketing and communication department. Examples are colour fastness of textiles and durability of furniture. Non-compliance may lead to complaints and dissatisfied users of the products.
This category covers requirements related to Corporate (Social) Responsibility. The owner of these requirements is the board of directors of the company. Examples are BSCI, FSC and waste recycling requirements. Non-compliance may lead to critical questions from consumers and especially NGO's have agenda's related to these topics.
This category also includes mandatory registrations and notifications, non-compliance may lead to severe penalties. It is the second focus category D together with A + B.
Non-compliance with these requirements means that the risk of not being able to sell this product is very high, not from a legal but from a business point of view. For example licenses or default sizes of kitchen furniture or other aspects of products have become "the standard" in the market.
This includes requirements defined by buying companies in addition to the legal requirements. Non-compliance may lead to a situation where your customer is not accepting the goods. (Note that it is also possible for you to distribute in an orderly manner your set of requirements to the market via ProductIP).
Guides, Decisions, Recommendations and Test methods
Requirements that contain guidelines on design (e.g. products with hot surfaces or hygiene for food processors) or describe test methods (e.g. standby current for appliances or chromium content in leathers). These requirements do not contain limits, but they could be referred to in test reports.
Requirements that are applicable to the transport of products, such as fumigation of wood, or the safety tests for transport of lithium batteries are shown here. This category is in development.
An overview of the CE marking directives that are applicable for the product that must be mentioned on the Declaration of Conformity are listed here.
A separate category is reserved for ProductIP's Verifeyer risk assessment forms. These are smart, interactive forms that assist you in creating risk assessments. The completed forms are returned to the corresponding technical file.