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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

A plethora of perilous items were discovered in Germany and the European Union.

Dolls that emit chemicals or bike reflectors that make riding dangerous – last year European countries triggered the EU’s rapid alert system for dangerous goods 2,117 times.

The objects of complaints were mainly toys (23%), followed by cars (16%), cosmetics (10%), clothing (9%) and electrical appliances (8%), said the European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders in Brussels. About 430 messages were received from Germany.

Early warning system

About 30 European countries and the European Commission share information on products via a rapid alert system for dangerous non-food products. In this way, other countries can quickly check whether similar products are also circulating on the domestic market and, for example, issue recalls. In 2021, the number of reported cases was the same as in 2020 (2142).

3932 recalls, stop sales or imports

Last year, following the declarations made by the countries, there were 3932 relevant reactions: withdrawal of products, cessation of sales or import of goods. According to the data, most of them were recalled due to the increased concentration of chemicals they contain (35%). As examples, the EU justice commissioner cited pink play dough in a jar and several toy dolls that emit chemicals, including boron.

These products could affect the nervous system or harm reproduction. Along with these products, reflectors for cyclists were also considered dangerous. They did not reflect light, which led to an increased risk on the roads.

As in the previous year, more than 50% of registered products came from China, but in general around 80% of goods were imported from non-EU countries. Therefore, according to Reynders, the European Union tries in every way to support other countries when it comes to product safety.

To look closer

The European Commission has also introduced a new electronic surveillance tool to focus more on online platforms. It searches websites for products that have already been flagged and sends warnings to site owners. At the same time, national authorities also receive notifications. This is done to ensure that goods are removed from sale quickly and consumers are better protected. According to Reinders, this method uncovered more than 7,000 sites last year selling products that had previously been flagged as non-compliant.

Count the number of cases of anxiety

European consumer associations Anec and Beuc have said a worrying number of dangerous products are still reaching people. In November 2022, EU and European Parliament negotiators agreed on tougher rules for online consumer protection.

It is important that Parliament formally approves them this month, said Beuc CEO Monique Goyens: “This will give the authorities more power to hunt down unscrupulous traders, for example by carrying out test purchases on the Internet. “.

In addition, according to her, there is a need to improve cooperation between the many bodies responsible for product safety.

The EU can rightly be proud

According to Stephen Russell, CEO of Anec, the EU can be rightly proud of its toy safety regulations, which are among the strictest in the world. Unfortunately, there are still too many toys on the market that are substandard or even dangerous.

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