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Consumers (11-05-2011)

Consumers: A genuine internal market of safe products – Safety at source a key objective

Whether a baby-stroller or a new pair of shoes, we all like to be sure that the products we buy in the EU are safe.

The good news is that fewer dangerous products are reaching the EU market since such products are now identified and removed more readily.

Thanks to the increasing effectiveness of the EU's rapid alert system for non-food dangerous products ("RAPEX"), a record 2244 unsafe products were banned, withdrawn from the market or recalled from consumers in 2010 (up 13% compared with 2009), according to the 2010 annual RAPEX report published today.

Member States have upped their game and European businesses are also taking their responsibilities in the consumer product safety area more seriously, with a marked increase (200%) in the use of the dedicated rapid alert system for business ("GPSD Business Application").

Safety at source has become a key focus - with attention now moving right back to the factory floor (design and manufacturing), and work with international partners is growing, in particular with China.

In addition, the results of an EU market surveillance exercise checking the safety of sports helmets, were also presented today - almost 50% did not comply with the relevant safety requirements.

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