The rules on product safety in the EU date back to 2001. Since products and markets have fundamentally changed in the meantime, the rules require an urgent update . The new challenges for the safety of products entering the EU’s internal market, apply to product safety legislation, market surveillance and customs controls.
Consumers trust that the products they buy in shops or online are safe and comply with European rules. Unfortunately, today, this is too often not the case. With the rise of large online marketplaces, the number of unsafe products entering the EU is increasing. Connected devices and new technologies pose new risks both to life and limb and to consumers’ privacy. In addition, the enforcement of existing rules is often not yet adapted to the new reality.
The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband – vzbv) advocates for strong product safety rules so that consumers can trust the safety of products they buy in the EU internal market.
- the Product Safety Directive should be adapted to meet today’s challenges and should be replaced by a directly applicable Regulation
- the new rules must define online marketplaces as actors in the supply chain, and give them the same level of responsibility as importers or traders
- market surveillance and customs authorities should be much better equipped financially, technologically and in terms of personnel
- the safety and security of connected devices must be strengthened