Presenting the RAPEX report in Brussels today, EU Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner Tonio Borg said: "Thanks to stronger EU co-operation consumers can count on better safety in the internal market. The RAPEX system is a key component in the EU's efforts to protect consumers. Results of enforcement actions over 2012 demonstrate increased vigilance but we must always strive for improvement. This is why earlier this year the Commission tabled new legislative proposals on product safety and market surveillance".
Most of the safety scares (34%) came from clothing and textile products followed by toys (19%), with, for example, cords and drawstrings on children’s clothing posing a risk of strangulation, or choking where parts of toys could be easily detached and put in the mouth and swallowed. Chemical risks too were commonly cited - a skin lightening product and a plastic doll containing banned chemicals were two items identified by RAPEX system and taken out of circulation last year. Motor vehicles and electrical appliances made up the other most frequently reported products last year.
Where are they coming from?
China is still the number one country of origin for product safety concerns. 58% of the notifications last year related to Chinese-made goods compared to 17% for products manufactured in the EU. The EU is taking steps to strengthen bilateral cooperation with China on product safety enforcement and to extend information exchange between the authorities. The EU and China will soon release a series of videos targeting Chinese manufacturers and European importers, providing product safety information.
RAPEX 2012 in numbers
2,278 number of notifications
30 number of participating countries (EU-27 + Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein)
5 most frequently notified product categories in 2012:
34% Clothing, textiles and fashion items
11% Electrical appliances and equipment
8% Motor vehicles
Notifications by country of origin of the notified product:
58% China including Hong Kong;
17% EU-27 and EEA countries;