Rapid Alert System for non-food dangerous products
RAPEX is the EU rapid alert system that facilitates the rapid exchange of information between Member States and the Commission on measures taken to prevent or restrict the marketing or use of products posing a serious risk to the health and safety of consumers –with the exception of food, pharmaceutical and medical devices, which are covered by other mechanisms. Since 1 January 2010, as regards goods subject to EU harmonisation regulation, the system also facilitates the rapid exchange of information on products posing a serious risk to the health and safety of professional users and on those posing a serious risk to other public interests protected via the relevant EU legislation (e.g. environment and security). Both measures ordered by national authorities and measures taken voluntarily by producers and distributors are reported by RAPEX.
How does RAPEX work?
- When a product (e.g. a toy, a childcare article or a household appliance) is found to be dangerous, the competent national authority takes appropriate action to eliminate the risk. It can withdraw the product from the market, recall it from consumers or issue warnings. The National Contact Point then informs the European Commission (Directorate-General for Health and Consumer) about the product, the risks it poses and the measures taken by the authority to prevent risks and accidents.
- The European Commission disseminates the information that it receives to the National Contact Points of all other EU countries. It publishes weekly overviews of products posing a serious risk and the measures taken to eliminate the risks on the internet.
- The National Contact Points in each EU country ensure that the authorities responsible check whether the newly notified product is present on the market. If so, the authorities take measures to eliminate the risk, either by requiring that the product be withdrawn from the market, by recalling it from consumers or by issuing warnings.
The following video explains the operation of RAPEX: Keeping European Consumers Safe.
Find herewith the list of National Contact Points
The "RAPEX-CHINA" system
One of the concrete actions under the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2006 between DG SANCO and the General
Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China (AQSIQ) is the "RAPEX-CHINA" system. The "RAPEX-CHINA" on-line
system exists for regular and rapid transmission of data between the EU and China product safety administration. DG SANCO provides the Chinese
authorities with the information on consumer products originating from China, which have been identified as dangerous and consequently banned
or withdrawn from the European market by the authorities of the Member States and notified by these to the European Commission via the European
Rapid Alert System – "RAPEX".
AQSIQ investigates all the notifications it receives via accessing the database and, when necessary, adopts measures which
prevent or restrict further export of the notified dangerous consumer products to the EU.
AQSIQ provides the Commission with a detailed report on the results of the investigations carried out on the base of the RAPEX
data and measures adopted with regard to dangerous products. These reports are expected quarterly.