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Online markeplaces sign EU pledge on product safety

27 June 2018, 13:09 CET
Online markeplaces sign EU pledge on product safety

Barbagallo - Krawczyk - Jourova - Waterworth - Dufour- Photo EC

(BRUSSELS) - Four major online marketplaces, Alibaba (for AliExpress), Amazon, eBay and Rakuten - France signed a commitment Monday for faster removal of dangerous products sold on their online marketplaces.

Thanks to a dialogue facilitated by the European Commission, the four companies have committed to responding to notifications on dangerous products from Member State authorities within 2 working days and take action on notices from customers within 5 working days.

"Consumers should be just as safe when they buy online, as when they buy in a shop," said Consumer Commissioner Vera Jourova: "I welcome the Product Safety Pledge which will further improve consumer safety."

The e-Commerce Directive (article 14) states that dangerous product listings must be taken down speedily and efficiently, but does not specify the timing.

Online sales represented 20% of the total sales in 2016 in the EU (Eurostat). More and more of the dangerous products notified in the Rapid Alert System are sold online. The EU e-Commerce Directive introduces notice and take-down procedures for problematic content online, but it does not regulate them in detail. Today, these four major online marketplaces have agreed to a series of commitments to ensure EU consumers are well protected.

Alibaba Group (for AliExpress), Amazon, eBay and Rakuten-France commit to taking the following measures:

  • React within two working days to authorities' notices made to the companies' contact points to remove listings offering unsafe products. Companies should follow-up and inform the authorities on the action taken.
  • Provide a clear way for customers to notify dangerous product listings. Such notices are treated expeditiously and appropriate response is given within five working days.
  • Consult information on recalled/dangerous products available on the EU Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products and also from other sources, such as from enforcement authorities and take appropriate action with respect to the products concerned, when they can be identified.
  • Provide specific single contact points for EU Member State authorities for the notifications on dangerous products and for the facilitation of communication on product safety issues.
  • Take measures aimed at preventing the reappearance of dangerous product listings already removed.
  • Provide information/training to sellers on compliance with EU product safety legislation, require sellers to comply with the law, and provide sellers with the link to the list of EU product safety legislation.

The online marketplaces and the Commission will now assess the progress made on the commitments every six months, and will publish a report.

The Commission is encouraging other online marketplaces to follow the four companies' example.

Product Safety Pledge

EU product safety rules

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