The European Commission welcomes European Parliament vote in favour of new rules to improve the safety of consumer products circulating in the EU’s internal market – including those imported from outside the EU – and to step-up market surveillance concerning all non-food products.
European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: “I am pleased the Parliament has voted in favour of new measures for safer, compliant products, to both protect consumers from health risks and protect business from unfair competition. Consistent market surveillance across the EU is necessary to avoid weak spots which threaten the public interest and create unbalanced trading conditions. We now look to the Council to also approve these measures”.
This will contribute to strengthening consumer protection. It will also create a level playing field for business by ensuring that responsible manufacturers do not suffer unfair competition from products which do not comply with European safety or environmental rules.
Unsafe products should not reach consumers or other users. Their improved identification and traceability will enable their quick removal from circulation within the EU. The new legislation will also help business and consumers by ensuring that a product’s country of origin is indicated according to clear and unambiguous rules.
The key changes approved by the European Parliament are:
Clearer responsibilities and more coherent rules across all product sectors for manufacturers, importers and distributors, to ensure the safety of all consumer products. This also means lower compliance costs for businesses, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.
A single set of coherent rules for market surveillance, providing more effective tools to national surveillance bodies enforce safety and take action against dangerous and non-compliant products. This means safe and compliant products throughout the EU with an even higher level of protection, enabling more consumer confidence in the internal market.
Improved traceability of consumer products – enabling swift and effective responses to safety problems. To achieve this manufacturers and importers will also have to ensure that products (or their packaging) bear an indication of the product’s country of origin. For products manufactured in the EU, companies will have the choice of indicating either a particular EU country or the “EU” as the place of origin.
Creation of a more cooperative system of market surveillance across the EU. Better coordination of product safety checks means eliminating unfair competition from dishonest or rogue operators.
Streamlined procedures for the notification of dangerous products, and synergies between the existing Rapid Alert Information System (RAPEX) and the Information and Communication System for Market Surveillance (ICSMS).