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China still tops EU dangerous products report

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China still tops EU dangerous products report

Rapex report 2018 - Photo EC

(BRUSSELS) - 53 per cent of dangerous consumer goods reported to the EU originate in China, Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Vera Jourova said Monday as she presented the 2017 annual report on dangerous goods.

The report from the EU's Rapex European Rapid Alert System for non-food dangerous products finds that toys, for example several models of the popular fidget spinners, cars and motorcycles, topped the list of dangerous products detected and removed from the market.

Rapex ensures that information about unsafe products withdrawn from the market and/or recalled from consumers anywhere in Europe is circulated between EU Member States and the Commission, allowing appropriate action to be taken everywhere in the EU. Thirty-one countries (EU Member States together with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) take part in the system.

"European consumer rules guarantee that only safe products are sold in the EU," said Ms Jourova: "If this is not the case, the Rapid Alert System supports authorities to react quickly and remove any products that might cause injuries."

The report shows that the Rapid Alert System was increasingly used in 2017 by national authorities, with more than 2,000 alerts on dangerous products circulated through the system.

The alerts prompted nearly 4,000 follow-up actions, including withdrawal of products from the market. National authorities closely monitored the alerts in the system and took all necessary measures to help make the market safer for consumers, says the Commission.

Many of the dangerous products notified in the Rapid Alert System are also sold on online platforms or marketplaces from third countries. The Commission issued a Recommendation in March 2018 with a set of operational measures to be taken by online platforms and Member States to further step the work on illegal online content, including when it comes to dangerous products.

In 2017, 'toys' was the most notified product category (29%), followed by 'motor vehicles' (20%), and 'clothing, textiles and fashion items' (12%).

As far as risks are concerned, in 2017 the risk most often notified was injury (28%), followed by chemical risk (22%).

The majority of dangerous products notified in the system came from outside the EU. China is the number one country of origin, but the number of alerts remains stable at 53% (1,155) in 2017, same as the year before.

The Commission says it continues to cooperate closely with Chinese authorities, working together to discuss specific cases and implement actions, such as exchange of good practices. Dangerous products of European origin accounted for 413 notifications (26%).

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