Brussels, 08 May 2012 – EU consumers want to be sure that the products – whether produced in the EU or imported from third-countries – are safe. The good news is that thanks to the increasing effectiveness of the EU’s rapid alert system for non-food dangerous products (“RAPEX”) dangerous products are detected earlier and more effectively and are more promptly removed from the EU market. This process involves a chain of actions including upstream efforts to design out risks at source, better risk assessment and close co-operation between EU authorities, notably customs, to identify risks at the points of entry.
Brussels April 15 2010 – The number of dangerous consumer products notified through the EU’s rapid alert system for non-food dangerous products (“RAPEX”) rose by 7% in 2009 compared to 2008, the Commission’s annual RAPEX report shows today. This rise from 1866 notifications in 2008 to 1993 last year shows that the capacity of the RAPEX system has increased again in 2009, following more effective market surveillance by Member States. European businesses are also taking their responsibilities in the consumer product safety area more seriously and recall their unsafe products from the market more readily. They also begin to use the dedicated rapid alert system for business (‘Business Application’) more systematically. Toys, clothing and motor vehicles were the most frequently notified products in 2009. In addition, the results of an EU market surveillance exercise, involving 13 countries checking the safety of toys, were also presented today, and show that around 20% did not comply with the relevant safety requirements.
On May 1, a European Commission Decision comes into force to ensure that no consumer product containing the strongly sensitising DMF is placed on the market in the EU. The biocide dimethylfumarate (DMF) has caused severe allergic reactions, including skin itching, irritation, redness, burns and, in some cases, acute respiratory difficulties, in hundreds of consumers in the EU because of its use in imported every day consumer products such as couches and shoes. There has even been one case of a soft toy for small children. If already on the market, these products will have to be recalled and withdrawn without delay, and consumers will have to be informed about the serious risk. The Commission Decision is an EU wide emergency measure, pending the adoption of a more permanent regulatory solution.
The number of dangerous consumer products withdrawn from the EU market rose by 16% in 2008 compared to in 2007, the Commission’s annual report on the Community rapid alert system for non-food dangerous products (“RAPEX”) reveals today. This rise from 1 605 notifications in 2007 to 1 866 last year shows that the capacity of the RAPEX system has substantially increased again in 2008, following a substantial investment of resources and training by the European Commission and Member States. European businesses in the consumer product safety area are also taking their responsibilities more seriously and recall their unsafe products from the market more readily. Toys with childcare articles (such as bicycles, baby walkers, cots and soothers), electrical products and motor vehicles were the most frequently notified products in 2008. The number of notifications on products of Chinese origin sent through RAPEX increased (from 52% in 2007 to 59% in 2008). This must be seen as a consequence of the focus of market surveillance authorities on product categories known to be of higher risk.