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EU urges stricter checks for safer goods

19 December 2017
by BEUC -- last modified 19 December 2017

Today the European Commission proposed to beef up checks of consumer goods available in the EU such as toys, phones or TVs. The main proposal is to increase EU Commission staff to assist Member States in better monitoring the merchandise that ends up on the market.


BEUC and ANEC welcome the Commission's efforts to advance consumer protection against faulty products. However, this is only a first step towards safe goods in the EU.

Monique Goyens, Director of BEUC, commented:

"Dangerous products should never end up in consumers' hands. Unfortunately, this is a far cry from reality, as consumer organisations across the EU regularly point out in their tests.2 Heaters and tumble dryers that catch fire, toys with parts that children can swallow are just a few examples of harmful goods that should not reach consumers.

"The Commission's proposal is a strong signal that consumers' safety needs to be a priority. However, the proposal should go further and include all consumer goods, not just the ones with the CE marking. Moreover, new challenges arise for market surveillance with internet-connected products already coming into our homes. So the EU needs to be tough on how to ensure that they are safe and 'cyber secure'."

Stephen Russell, Secretary General of ANEC, said:

"It is Members States' job to see that only safe goods make their way into shops. So we are glad the Commission considers to step up its resources to assist national authorities in their colossal task. But this is not enough, Member States should also pump up their budget for market checks."

Concrete BEUC demands to the EU Commission:

  • Expand stricter surveillance to goods sold online
  • Set up a pan-European accident and injury database
  • Guarantee involvement of consumer groups in the future European network for market surveillance (Union Product Compliance Board), for more transparency about the results of Member States market surveillance activities
  • Take off the CE marking off the products' packaging. The logo misleads consumers who believe it is a safety seal. It should only appear on the technical documentation where it will be accessible to the market surveillance authorities.

Today consumer organisations of the BEUC network and its sister organisation ANEC have launched a campaign to denounce the shortcomings of the CE marking. These organisations are Altroconsumo (Italy), DECO (Portugal), OCU (Spain) and Test-Achats/Test-Aankoop (Belgium).

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 our members: Financial Services, Food, Digital Rights, Consumer Rights & Enforcement and Sustainability.

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC)