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SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 054/17

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In 2016, 2,044 products were notified to RAPEX, the EU Commission’s Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products placed on the EU market. Of these, 244 notifications concerned unsafe products sold online.

The number of Rapex notifications has stabilized over the last few years with a total of 2,044 in 2016.

However, responses by national authorities following a Rapex notification by another country have significantly increased, to 3,824. This means that national authorities are closely following up on measures taken by other countries and checking if measures are also needed in their own country.

In 2016, Toys is again the most notified product category (26%), followed by Motor vehicles (18%) which for the first time counts more notifications than clothing, textile and fashion items (13%).

Graph 1 – Most common notified product categories compared to other categories in 2016

SafeGuardS 05417 Figure 1 

In 2015, chemical risk was for the first time the most notified risk, ahead of injuries. However, in 2016 injuries returned to first place again as a result of the large number motor vehicle notifications which were mostly associated with a risk of injury.

Chemical risk remains a real concern for toys at 33%, including risks posed by phthalates, as well as for textiles and accessories, and the presence of Azo-dies or Chromium VI in leather.

Graph 2 – The five most notified types of risk in 2016 compared to 2015

SafeGuardS 05417 Figure 2

Source: RAPEX  Statistics and reports [1] – the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, European Commission

In the 2016 report, the European Commission also highlighted the implications of e-commerce on consumer safety and specified the number of notified dangerous products sold on line: 244

The report explains that several national authorities have been monitoring webpages and contacting online platforms in the event that unsafe products were found. The commission engaged with online platforms to detect dangerous products. In addition, the commission is preparing guidelines on how to protect consumers buying on the internet.

To face this new challenge, SGS E-commerce Solutions address the complex issue of online selling by working with B2B and B2C platforms to make sure the products that they sell are safe.

In a drive to ensure the maximum circulation, increase awareness of product recalls and promote product safety to clients, SGS’s “Product Recalls” [2] publication summarizes fortnightly notifications of unsafe consumer products in the European, US, Canadian and Australian markets. Additionally, SGS Product Recall Trends [3] provides a quarterly overview of the top recalled product categories and products, and the main associated risks, in the EU and the USA.

Products Recalls and Product Recall Trends are distributed in the SafeGuards emailing.

For enquiries, please contact:

Frederique Lorber
Knowledge Management Project Manager
t: +33 4 42 61 64 42

Ken Ardali
Vice President, Global eCommerce Solutions
t: +44 1276 697801

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