The European Commission published new figures today showing that, in 2015, more than 2,000 dangerous products triggered EU-wide alerts. The Commission, EU Member States and businesses are working together to ensure that these unsafe consumer goods are removed from the European market. A key challenge is the increasing share of products bought online from outside the EU.
Often Chinese products
"The Rapid Alert System has helped coordinate quick reactions between consumer protection authorities to remove dangerous products across Europe. Two challenges lie ahead of us: online sales bringing products directly to consumer's houses through mail and the large percentage of Chinese products signalled through the Rapid Alert System. I'm going to China in June to step up our cooperation with the Chinese authorities on product safety", said Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.
The dangerous frontrunners
In 2015, toys (27%) and clothing, textiles and fashion items (17%) were the two main product categories for which corrective measures had to be taken. These were already the most notified products the year before. As far as risks are concerned, in 2015, the most frequently notified risk (25% of the total of the notifications) was chemical risk, followed by the risk of injuries (22%), which was at the top of the list in the previous report.
The most frequent chemical risks notified in 2015 related to products such as fashion jewellery, with harmful heavy metals like nickel and lead, and toys containing phthalates (plastic softeners which can cause fertility problems).
Since 2003, the Rapid Alert System ensures that information about dangerous non-food products withdrawn from the market and/or recalled anywhere in Europe is quickly circulated between Member States and the European Commission. This way, appropriate follow-up action (ban/stop of sales, withdrawal, recall or import rejection by Customs authorities) can be taken everywhere in the EU.
Copyright: European Commission 2016