European Commission

Keeping European consumers safe

RAPID ALERT SYSTEM
FOR DANGEROUS
NON-FOOD PRODUCTS

One market,
big opportunities

ONE MARKET, BIG OPPORTUNITIES
31countries
in an open market

EU Member States
Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

Consumer spending:
58%
of EU GDP
512million consumers
Free movement
of products
across countries
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One Europe-wide
alert system,
safer products

Thanks to the Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products authorities in 31 countries can exchange information on potentially dangerous products and act quickly to keep consumers safe.
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The Rapid Alert
System in 2015

2 072 ALERTS

Major product categories

Toys
27%Bear
Clothing, textiles
& fashion items
17% Clothe
Motor vehicles
10% Engine

MAJOR RISK

CHEMICALS
Toxic or hazardous substances
25%

of all alerts

13%
Clothing, textiles
& fashion items
20%
Fashion jewellery
37%
Toys

In 2015, there was an increase in the use of the information
in the Rapid Alert System by Member States

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ONE ALERT
GOES FAR...

Click on the map and see what happens across Europe when an alert is sent through the system.

2015

Austria

N° of alerts:17
N° of follow-up actions:53

Example

Product: Motorcycle
Risk: Fire because of problems with the fuel tank.
Measures: Voluntary recall from users.

Belgium

N° of alerts:6
N° of follow-up actions:29

Example

Product: Yoyo (toy)
Risk: Strangulation because string longer than maximum authorised when stretched.
Measures: Voluntary withdrawal from market and recall from users.

Bulgaria

N° of alerts:151
N° of follow-up actions:92

Example

Product: Children's shoes
Risk: Choking because the decorative stones are small and easy to detach.
Measures: Compulsory withdrawal from market in Bulgaria. Voluntary recall from users in other countries.

Croatia

N° of alerts:7
N° of follow-up actions:138

Example

Product: Plastic chair
Risk: Injuries as chair not stable enough.
Measures: Compulsory ban on marketing in Croatia and withdrawal. Voluntary recall from users in other countries.

The Czech Republic

N° of alerts:109
N° of follow-up actions:18

Example

Product: Folding scooter
Risk: Injury due to fingers getting trapped and the steering rod breaking.
Measures: Compulsory withdrawal from market.

Cyprus

N° of alerts:117
N° of follow-up actions:17

Example

Product: Children's clothing (hooded top and trousers)
Risk: Strangulation as cords in the hood can get trapped, creating a loop and a strangulation danger.
Measures: Compulsory withdrawal from market in Cyprus and voluntary recall in other countries.

Denmark

N° of alerts:27
N° of follow-up actions:209

Example

Product: Wooden toy robot
Risk: Choking as the small ears on the toy can easily be pulled off.
Measures: Voluntary recall of product.

Estonia

N° of alerts:21
N° of follow-up actions:32

Example

Product: Wind up police car toy
Risk: Choking as the small wheels can easily be removed.
Measures: Voluntary warning to consumers of the risks, ban on marketing and recall in Estonia. Voluntary withdrawal from the market in other countries.

Finland

N° of alerts:52
N° of follow-up actions:179

Example

Product: Soother chain
Risk: Choking and strangulation. The wooden balls break easily and are a choking hazard and the chain is too long.
Measures: Compulsory withdrawal from the market in Finland. Voluntary withdrawal in other countries.

France

N° of alerts:135
N° of follow-up actions:105

Example

Product: Skin lightening product
Risk: Chemical as the product contains hydroquinone which irritates the skin and causes dermatitis.
Measures: Voluntary withdrawal from the market in France and destruction of the product. Product destroyed as a compulsory measure in other countries.

Germany

N° of alerts:208
N° of follow-up actions:85

Example

Product: Earrings
Risk: Chemical - the product contains too much nickel which can cause allergic reactions.
Measures: Voluntary withdrawal of product from market in Germany. Voluntary recall or withdrawal of product in other countries.

Greece

N° of alerts:14
N° of follow-up actions:108

Example

Product: Bicycle helmets
Risk: Injuries - the helmets do not provide sufficient protection.
Measures: Voluntary recall from users.

Hungary

N° of alerts:238
N° of follow-up actions:56

Example

Product: Plastic swing
Risk: Injuries as the swing can fall down easily and choking as the small belt buckle can be pulled off easily.
Measures: Complusory withdrawal of product from market and recall in Hungary. Voluntary recall in Slovenia.

Iceland

N° of alerts:4
N° of follow-up actions:26

Example

Product: Travel cot
Risk: Injuries and strangulation as the changing unit is too small so a child can fall off, there are gaps and the restraint system is too long.
Measures: Voluntary recall in Iceland and voluntary recall or withdrawal of product from market in other countries.

Ireland

N° of alerts:5
N° of follow-up actions:106

Example

Product: Travel adaptor
Risk: Electric shock due to the design.
Measures: Voluntary recall from users.

Italy

N° of alerts:56
N° of follow-up actions:24

Example

Product: Skin lightening product
Risk: Chemical - the product contains hydroquinone which irritates the skin and causes dermatitis.
Measures: Compulsory withdrawal from the market in Italy, voluntary withdrawal elsewhere.

Latvia

N° of alerts:60
N° of follow-up actions:15

Example

Product: Toy aeroplane
Risk: Choking on small parts.
Measures: Compulsory measures: imports rejected and product destroyed in Latvia; withdrawal from market in Cyprus.

Lithuania

N° of alerts:74
N° of follow-up actions:25

Example

Product: Electrical bicycle
Risk: Burns and fire as the batteries may have a defective seal.
Measures: Voluntary recall.

Luxembourg

N° of alerts:9
N° of follow-up actions:11

Example

Product: Towing rope
Risk: Chemical - the plastic in the PVC packaging contains cadmium which damages organs if swallowed or inhaled and may cause cancer.
Measures: Compulsory withdrawal from market in Luxembourg, voluntary in Germany.

Malta

N° of alerts:25
N° of follow-up actions:30

Example

Product: Battery packs for laptop
Risk: Fire - the batteries of the laptop may overheat.
Measures: Voluntary recall.

The Netherlands

N° of alerts:62
N° of follow-up actions:203

Example

Product: CO2 detector
Risk: Asphyxiation - it does not respond to high levels of carbon monoxide.
Measures: Compulsory recall in the Netherlands and Ireland, voluntary recall or withdrawal elsewhere.

Norway

N° of alerts:15
N° of follow-up actions:186

Example

Product: Pushchair
Risk: Injuries - the folding handle joint may break causing a child to fall.
Measures: Voluntary recall from users or withdrawal from the market.

Poland

N° of alerts:19
N° of follow-up actions:3

Example

Product: Cordless lawn mower
Risk: Injuries - electronic control board can fail and the blades do not stop, causing injury.
Measures: Voluntary recall from users in Poland, voluntary recall or withdrawal elsewhere.

Portugal

N° of alerts:42
N° of follow-up actions:153

Example

Product: Motor vehicle
Risk: Injuries - rear axle bolts may not be tight enough resulting in potential brake problems or wheel locking.
Measures: Voluntary recall from users.

Romania

N° of alerts:25
N° of follow-up actions:10

Example

Product: High chair
Risk: Injuries, strangulation, suffocation - problems with shoulder strap, stability and cords amongst other things.
Measures: Voluntary recall from users.

Slovakia

N° of alerts:74
N° of follow-up actions:89

Example

Product: Bow and arrow set
Risk: Injuries - kinetic energy of the arrows fired from the bow too high.
Measures: Voluntary withdrawal from market and recall in Slovakia plus compulsory ban on marketing in all countries.

Slovenia

N° of alerts:21
N° of follow-up actions:132

Example

Product: Doll
Risk: Chemical - contains phthalates which may harm children's health, including their reproductive system.
Measures: Voluntary recall in Slovenia. Compulsory ban on marketing in other countries.

Spain

N° of alerts:239
N° of follow-up actions:319

Example

Product: Set of toy tools
Risk: Choking - small parts.
Measures: Compulsory withdrawal from market in Spain. Voluntary return of unsold units in France and voluntary recall in other countries.

Sweden

N° of alerts:78
N° of follow-up actions:181

Example

Product: Cover for prams and children's car seats
Risk: Choking - due to detachable part.
Measures: Voluntary recall from users.

The United Kingdom

N° of alerts:162
N° of follow-up actions:111

Example

Product: Rattle
Risk: Choking - sections may break and release small balls inside the rattle which a child can choke on.
Measures: Voluntary recall from users in the UK plus voluntary recall and withdrawal from the market in other countries.
  • Country that raised the alert
  • Other countries that took action following the alert
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Keeping European
consumers safe

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MORE INFO

See weekly updates on dangerous products online See full information on the Rapid Alert System results in 2015

Vĕra Jourová
Commissioner for Justice,
Consumers and Gender Equality

Justice and Consumers
Directorate-General

Last update: 15/04/2016

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