Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home Breaking news EU aims to tighten consumer safety net

EU aims to tighten consumer safety net

16 June 2022, 22:48 CET
EU aims to tighten consumer safety net


(BRUSSELS) - New rules on consumer safety, adopted Thursday by a Euro-Parliament committee, aim to ensure that products sold in the EU online or in traditional shops comply with highest safety requirements.

The Internal Market Committee's position on updated EU rules on product safety of non-food consumer products would enhance the safety of products sold in the EU and future-proof the existing legal framework. MEPs have clarified obligations for economic operators and online marketplaces and strengthened product safety requirements.

Under the rules, all economic operators, such as manufacturers, importers and distributers, would have to comply with the updated general safety obligations to place products on the EU market. If not established in the EU, they would have to designate a responsible person in the EU as a contact point for authorities. Failure to comply would incur penalties up to 4% of their annual turnover.

MEPs have strengthened provisions on safety requirements for products to take into account possible specific risks to the most vulnerable consumers such as children, the elderly and persons with disabilities. Products should be safe for all users, including women, whose safety should also always be considered when products are designed. Technological aspects, like cyber interference, but also the effects that digitally connected products can have on children's mental health need to be considered.

According to the adopted text and in line with the recently agreed Digital Services Act, online marketplaces would have to establish single contact points to communicate swiftly with surveillance authorities and consumers. Authorities can oblige online marketplaces to remove and disable access to illegal listings of dangerous products. After being notified, online marketplaces would have one day to act. They would conduct random checks to identify the dangerous products.

MEPs also want the rapid alert system for dangerous products ('Safety Gate' portal) to be modernised to allow online marketplaces to detect unsafe products more easily. The portal should become more intuitive and information should be easily accessible for users, including persons with disabilities.

Regarding recalls, if a dangerous product needs to be recalled or there is a safety warning, economic operators and online marketplaces would be required to inform consumers and widely disseminate the information online. Consumers would be informed of their right to repair, replacement or refund.

MEPs have added a provision to make sure that information on products' safety is available in easily understandable language and accessible to persons with disabilities.

Interinstitutional talks between Parliament and member states can start as soon as the Council adopts its own negotiating mandate. Once an agreement is reached, it will have to be endorsed by Parliament and Council before its publication and entry into force.

Procedure file, European Parliament

European Commission proposal for a regulation on general product safety

Document Actions