Consumer product safety



EU rules on product safety are defined in the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD). Under the directive a product is safe if it meets all statutory safety requirements under European or national law. If there are no regulations or EU standards referenced in the Official Journal of the European Union, the product's compliance is determined according to other reference documents such as other European standards, national or international standards, Commission recommendations, or codes of practice. The General Product Safety Directive applies to consumer products when there are no specific provisions with the same objective in the rules of EU Law governing the safety of the products concerned. That means it applies totally to products such as child care articles or certain COVID-19 related products, such as sanitising gels and certain type of face masks and only residually to products where sectorial legislation exists such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Businesses must: only place products which are safe on the market, inform consumers of any risks associated with the products they supply, make sure any dangerous products present on the market can be traced so they can be removed to avoid any risks to consumers. MEPs want more stringent EU rules to protect children Existing rules and market surveillance activities should be strengthened to ensure the safety of all toys sold on the EU market, including from non-EU countries and online.

In March 2023 MEPs, also endorsed the revised rules on product safety of non-food consumer products. The new regulation aligns the existing General Product Safety Directive with the latest developments in digitalisation and the surge in online shopping.

In this Plenary MEPs are set to vote on their position on a proposal to revamp EU legislation on toy safety. The update of the current directive aims to respond to the increase in online shopping and the use of digital technologies, among other challenges. The proposed regulation extends EU bans on harmful chemicals in toys to include endocrine disruptors and makes it easier for consumers to access safety information, for example via a QR code.

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