SAFEGUARDS | Consumer productsNO. 087/19
The European Commission (EC) has released its 2018 RAPEX annual report.
The EC’s 2018 RAPEX Annual Report notes stabilization in the number of notifications and member state follow-up actions. However, market surveillance authorities need to improve monitoring for products sold online.
- The stabilization of the European information exchange system on dangerous products is confirmed with just over 2,000 alerts and 4,000 follow-up actions last year.
- The report again highlights the need for national authorities to improve surveillance of online offers.
16% of notifications are related to products sold on the internet; national authorities should further develop tools and specialize in the monitoring of products sold online.
To support unsafe product detection online, a Product Safety Pledge has been signed by the four major online market places (Alibaba, EBay, Amazon and Rakuten France) allowing national authorities to contact them directly and ask them to remove products identified as unsafe from their platforms.
- The RAPEX website has been updated to make it useful to users, consumers, companies and national authorities. Amongst other updates, the RAPEX website has been renamed ‘Safety Gate’ and is now available in 25 European languages.
- A cooperation agreement on the exchange of information on unsafe products has been signed with Canada.
In 2018, 2,257 alerts were sent through the Rapid Alert System with 4,050 follow-up actions.
Toys represent the largest group of products reported to RAPEX, followed by 'motor vehicles', and 'clothing, textiles and fashion items'.
Regarding the risks, the main risk notified in 2018 is ‘chemical’, ahead of ‘injuries’ and ‘choking’.
Source: 2018 results of the Rapid Alert System ; the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers
In 2018, a new type of toy, named squeezable or squishy toy, has been notified several times in the RAPEX.
The reported risks for these squishy toys relate to small parts (choking risks) and dangerous chemical substances such as N,N-dimethylformamide, N,N-dimethyl-aminoethanol, cyclohexanone and triethylenediamine, which pose a risk to the eyes, or cause mucous membrane irritation and liver damage. There are no harmonized standards to check these chemical substances, but the requirements for the assessment of dangerous chemical substances is mentioned in the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC.
In a drive to ensure maximum circulation, to increase awareness of product recalls and to promote product safety among clients, SGS will soon launch a Product Recalls on-line, searchable, database of all unsafe product notifications compiled by official authorities operating in the European Union (RAPEX and RASFF) and United States (CPSC and FDA). Additionally, SGS Product Recall Trends  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.
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