European Commission adopts EU standard for baby walkers to prevent infant accidents

On January 13, a European safety standard for baby walkers, which will help to prevent many childhood accidents, has been published in the Official Journal, following its formal adoption by the European Commission. Hospital emergency data from both the EU and the US over the last 20 years consistently shows that baby walkers are a hazard, with thousands of infants treated for baby walker accidents every year. Research from Australia indicates that at least one in three children using baby walkers will be injured at some point. Further research from the UK’s Child Accident Prevention Trust estimates that more children are injured by baby walkers than by any other nursery product. Baby walker accidents, such as tipping over or falling down stairs, can be very serious, as in most cases they involve injuries to the head. The EU standard introduces a requirement for stability tests during the manufacture of baby walkers, and for the design to be geared towards reducing the risk of injuries. Member States backed the Commission’s proposal to introduce this standard at the General Product Safety Committee (GPSD) in November 2008 and the European Parliament has also welcomed the decision. The standard will provide all economic operators and market surveillance authorities will have a clear, quick and single reference for making, importing or checking baby walkers for safety.Read More

EU – China Customs Agreements

European Commissioner László Kovács, responsible for Taxation and Customs, today signed an Action Plan with the Chinese Ambassador Song to strengthen customs cooperation on protecting Intellectual Property Rights. They also signed an agreement to enhance customs co-operation in monitoring trade and preventing trafficking and the diversion of drug precursors (chemicals that are essential to the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs).Read More

Are your CE marked medical devices up to date with the latest standards?

The European Commission published updated lists of European harmonized standards for the medical devices directives (Medical Devices Directive, Active Implantable Medical Devices Directive and In Vitro Diagnostics Directive). Manufacturers of CE marked medical devices should check if the European harmonized standards that they have used during the conformity assessment are still valid, or whether they have been updated by these lists.

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EU Member States approve world-wide rules for labelling of chemicals

The European Commission welcomes the agreement by the EU Member States to align EU legislation on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures to the United Nations Globally Harmonised System (GHS). This new system will ensure that the same hazards will be described and labelled in the same way all around the world. By using internationally agreed classification criteria and labelling elements, it is expected to facilitate trade and to contribute towards global efforts to protect humans and the environment from hazardous effects of chemicals. The new regulation will complement the REACH regulation on the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals. The European Parliament already the 3rd of September this year approved the GHS regulation. The next step will be its publication in the Official Journal, thereby making the EU one of the international leaders in the actual uptake of the UN system.

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EU-Canada Summit confirms close ties

handshake

The annual EU-Canada Summit will take place in Quebec City this Friday, 17 October. The European Commission will be represented by its President, José Manuel Barroso, who will participate alongside French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in his role as President of the Council. Prime Minister Stephen Harper will represent Canada. The agenda will focus on the financial crisis and the global economy, and on boosting EU-Canada economic relations. The Summit will also look at regional issues, such as Afghanistan, where the EU and Canada are co-operating closely together to promote good governance, sound development and the rule of law.Read More