CEOC News Article
       Consumer Goods 08/03/2011
Safer products for European consumers

European Parliament plenary adopts resolution on product safety, 08 March 2011


Consumers need better protection from potentially dangerous products, says a resolution on product safety passed in plenary session on Tuesday.


MEPs set out their inputs to a forthcoming update of EU product safety rules to be launched by the Commission later this year.


"We are telling the Commission that we need to revise the directive, we need to enhance market surveillance and we need to have a market surveillance that is consistent across the single market" said rapporteur Christel Schaldemose (S&D, DK), in her plenary presentation ahead of Tuesday's vote.


Strengthening customs checks in European ports and reforming the legislative framework to enable faster withdrawal of dangerous products are among the priorities of this non-legislative resolution.


Customs checks on imports


MEPs highlight the importance of improving market surveillance, especially in European ports. They call on the Commission and Member States to step up surveillance and to take tougher measures against illegal products entering the EU from third countries. Special attention should be paid to products bought online from third countries and which are not up to European standards, they add.


The Commission should establish a common EU framework for market surveillance and play a more active role in co-ordinating the activities of customs authorities, say MEPs.


MEPs also call for more international co-operation to ensure product safety. They raise concerns about an increase in notifications via the EU alert system (RAPEX) on dangerous products of Chinese origin.


Risk analysis, complaints and accident statistics


To minimise the risk of placing unsafe products on the market, MEPs propose that manufacturers be required to do a risk analysis during the design phase.


MEPs urge the Commission to establish a European database of all consumer complaints made through existing regional and national systems. Annual reporting by Member States should be mandatory and accident statistics published based on the information gathered, they add.


The report was adopted with 628 votes in favour, 11 against and 7 abstentions.

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution