Details The European Commission (EC) has proposed new legislative and non-legislative measures to improve consumer product safety and strengthen market surveillance of all non-food products in the European Union (EU), including those imported from third countries. The package was adopted by the EC on February 13, 2013, and will be discussed in the European Parliament and in the Council. The new legislation is expected to come into effect in 2015.
The key changes of today's package are:
- Alignment of the general obligations of economic operators to ensure the safety of all consumer products with clearer responsibilities for manufacturers, importers and distributors.
- More effective tools to enforce safety and other product-related requirements and to take action against dangerous and non-compliant product across all sectors through a single set of coherent rules for market surveillance.
- Improved traceability of consumer products throughout the supply chain - enabling a swift and effective response to safety problems (e.g. recalls).
- Creation of a more cooperative system of market surveillance across the EU.
- Streamlined procedures for the notification of dangerous products, and synergies between the existing Rapid Alert Information System (RAPEX) and the Information and Communication System for Market Surveillance (ICSMS).
Why It Matters Current EU rules on market surveillance and consumer product safety are fragmented and scattered over several different pieces of legislation, thus creating gaps and overlaps. The legislative proposals that the Commission adopted will enable better coherence of the rules regulating consumer products identification and traceability, and improved coordination of the way authorities check products and enforce product safety rules across the European Union. Improved identification and traceability of unsafe products will be a key improvement, helping to take them out of the market quickly.
Once adopted by the European Parliament and by the Council the new rules will be enforced by the national market surveillance authorities in the Member States which will benefit from strengthened cooperation and enhanced tools to carry out controls.
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