“What is the EU doing to protect me from dangerous products?”
If a dangerous product is found in one country, information on the product is passed on to the
other EU countries via a rapid alert system called “RAPEX” (Rapid Alert System for Non-Food Products). The system
facilitates cooperation between national and European authorities to track down dangerous products and remove them
quickly from the market. A similar system called “RASFF” (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) is in place for food.
Certain categories of products or substances presenting a safety or health risk may be banned from the
EU market. The use of plastic softeners called phthalates, which can be toxic when ingested by young children, has been
banned in the manufacture of toys since the late 1990s.
In 2006, the European Commission also prohibited the marketing of disposable lighters not equipped
with a child-resistant mechanism.
This decision has been amended on 12 April 2007.
On 29 November 2007 EU Member states endorsed European Commission plans to draw up proposals for a
standard to combat the leading cause of home fire fatalities each year. The new standard will require tobacco companies
to sell only cigarettes which have a safety requirement in their design so they go out more quickly if left unattended.
The European Commission will take a formal decision on the mandate for a standard in Spring 2008.
Please refer to this page for details: :
Legislation on lighters
Food-imitating products and magnets
There is also the Directive on dangerous imitations prohibits the marketing, import and manufacture of
products that look like foodstuffs but that are not in fact edible and on magnets.
In the absence of specific safety requirements for magnets in toys and awaiting the revision of the
relevant standard, in 2008 the Commission will use provisions of Article 13 of the General Product Safety Directive to
draft a targeted measure, requiring appropriate warnings about the dangers of magnets in toys.
The Directive on dangerous imitations prohibits the marketing, import and manufacture of products that look like foodstuffs but that are not in fact edible.