Closer cooperation between US and EU needed?

In 2007 EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso stated at a EU-US summit that “The reality is that the world is safer and more prosperous when Europe and America work together as global partners”.

The large number of unsafe and counterfeit products flooding to our markets, and recalls like we had with Mattel and Fisher Price products have caused outrage with consumers in North America and Europe. Many politicians have called for immediate action. In the European Parliament there were even voices that called for the CE marking system to be reversed.

Withdrawals of dangerous consumer products jump by 16%

The number of dangerous consumer products withdrawn from the EU market rose by 16% in 2008 compared to in 2007, the Commission’s annual report on the Community rapid alert system for non-food dangerous products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.