Increasing number of unsafe products on EU market

The number of unsafe products identified in the EU rose sharply in 2005. More than half of the serious risk notifications concerned toys and electrical appliances.

According to the RAPEX report 2005 (Rapid Alert System for non-food consumer products) published on 2 March 2006 by the Commission, an increasing number of dangerous products were identified in the EU in 2005. Notifications from the national authorities to the Commission nearly doubled compared to 2004. Around half of the notifications concerned imported products, in particular products imported from China and nearly half of all notifications were related to toys and electrical appliances. Increase in the number of notifications can be partly explained by improved reporting by a number of member states and the full participation by the EU10

“I am most worried by the number of dangerous products marketed in the EU,” said Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou. He said that from the current simple withdrawal from the EU market, the products’ producers and importers would need to be identified and co-operation with non-EU countries authorities and industry intensified to help ensure that not only European consumers are safe but also consumers elsewhere in the world.

Through RAPEX, national authorities notify to the Commission products presenting a serious risk for the health and safety of consumers, with the exception of food, pharmaceutical and medical products. According to the RAPEX 2005 report, distribution of notifications and reactions to high-risk products vary among the member states and some still need to improve their participation to the system. In 2005, Hungary (122) and Germany (106) were the most active notifying countries, whereas Luxembourg reported one case and Italy two.

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