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Dangerous consumer goods found in high numbers in EU

12 March 2018
by BEUC -- last modified 12 March 2018

In 2017, more than 2,000 non-food products failing safety requirements were notified to the EU’s rapid alert system (RAPEX). This figure might however only show the tip of the iceberg because of insufficient market checks.


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Last December, the EU Commission heard our long-time call for a stronger surveillance of the market by publishing a Goods Package which addresses compliance and enforcement. Sadly, the proposal excludes some product categories from tighter controls, such as childcare products, categories which today's report shows are often concerned by safety issues.

Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC, commented:

"Consumers do not get the same level of protection depending on where they live. The more authorities look for faulty products, the more they find, and unfortunately there is a huge gap from one country to another. Member States must urgently increase the number of checks, and the amounts of the fines, across all categories of consumer products, from cosmetics to fitness watches and kettles.

"Connected products that pose new dangers to children can still legally stay on EU shelves because the legal framework is outdated. Member States do not have the power to remove products, such as Cayla "the spying doll", from the market. This calls for an urgent overhaul of the rules so they truly protect consumers."

Stephen Russell, Secretary-General of ANEC, added:

"As market surveillance remains poorly resourced, it is of utmost importance for authorities to have a tool at their disposal to set priorities for enforcement activities. We therefore repeat the call, from a coalition of over 40 European associations from across the economic & social spectrum, for the creation of a Pan-European Accident & Injury Data System. Reliable and up-to-date accident and injury data are critical in the setting of priorities; the design of safety into new products; and the development of supporting technical standards".

BEUC acts as the umbrella group in Brussels for its members and its main task is to represent them at European level and defend the interests of all Europe's consumers. BEUC investigates EU decisions and developments likely to affect consumers, with a special focus on five areas identified as priorities by its members: Financial Services, Food, Digital Rights, Consumer Rights & Enforcement and Sustainability.

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC)