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EC report shows efficiency of EU's cooperation on dangerous goods
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15/04/2010 00:00:00

The number of dangerous consumer products notified through the EU's rapid alert system for non-food dangerous products rose by 7 per cent in 2009 according to the Commission's annual RAPEX report published today.  Toys, clothing and motor vehicles were the most frequently notified products.

The RAPEX alert system ensures that information about dangerous products withdrawn from the EU market and/or recalled from consumers is quickly circulated between member states and the European Commission to prevent or restrict the selling of these goods.

The rise in notifications from 1,866 (2008) to 1,993 last year shows the capacity of the RAPEX system has increased following more effective market surveillance by EU member states.  The highest number of notifications (1,699) related to products presenting serious health and safety risks to consumers, 11 with regard to moderate risks and 283 for information purposes.

John Dalli, Commissioner in charge of health and consumer policy said: "This report serves as our annual reality check of the safety of products on the EU market for EU citizens".

The number of notifications (1,013) on products from China, including Hong Kong, sent through RAPEX showed a slight increase from 59 per cent (2008) to 60 per cent in 2009. Some twenty per cent (337 notifications) concerned products originating in the EU: Germany (70), Italy (68) and Poland (24). Twenty three notifications concerned products originating in the UK. There was a decrease in the number of notifications which did not contain information about the country of origin of the notified product. 

The countries who made the most notifications were Spain (220), Germany (187), Greece (154), Bulgaria (122) and Hungary (119). Notifications sent by these countries represent 47 per cent of all notifications on products posing a serious risk sent via the system. The United Kingdom made 104 notifications, compared to 87 in 2008.

    The number of notified dangerous products is still growing

    The total number of notifications distributed through the RAPEX system has risen gradually since 2004 (when member states implemented the General Product Safety Directive). In this sixth year, the number of notifications has more than quadrupled from 468 (2004) to 1993 (2009).

    The growth in RAPEX notifications, and the increased capacity of the system, is a result of:

    • more effective product safety enforcement by national authorities;
    • more efficient investment of resources;
    • greater awareness among businesses of their obligations;
    • enhanced cooperation with third countries;
    • network-building actions and training across Member States coordinated by the European Commission.

    All countries contribute to RAPEX

    All EU countries participate in the RAPEX system by detecting and notifying new dangerous products and ensuring appropriate follow-up actions to the information received. Half of the countries further increased their activities in the system and notified more dangerous products than in 2008.

    In May 2009, the Commission introduced a new online system for producers and distributors called "Business Application" to make it simpler and quicker for them to notify all competent national authorities of any dangerous consumer products placed on the EU market.  Previously notifications had to be sent to each member state separately.  Since its launch, the system has proved successful with 44 notifications being sent through.

    Toys, clothing, textiles and motor vehicles top the list

    Toys (472 notifications), clothing and textiles (395 notifications) and motor vehicles (146 notifications) accounted for 60 per cent of all notifications on products posing a serious risk in 2009. Electrical appliances (138 notifications) became the fourth most frequently notified category of product.

    The report was presented by John Dalli at a press conference in Brussels which can be viewed on Europe by Satellite:

    Useful links for the Audiovisual Press:

    I-064183    Stockshots (short): Cords and drawstrings on children's clothing

    I-057030    Stockshots (short): Dangerous objects: RAPEX report 200

    I-053776    Stockshots (short): Rapex: Alert system for dangerous products

    I-053856    VNR: Keeping European Consumers Safe - RAPEX (long version)

    For more information

    On Rapex: and EU consumer safety news:


    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.

    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

    Last update: 30/10/2010  |Top