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All for One and One for All to ensure product safety


15 Apr 2010


Health & Consumers
EU Priorities 2020

ANEC welcomes the RAPEX annual report and results of the EU market
surveillance exercise published today by the European Commission. We believe
these reports again demonstrate that the consumer expectation for safe products
can be met only when adequate resourcing is made available to ensure effective
market surveillance and enforcement become routine.

The reports show market surveillance activities are most effective when undertaken as
joint actions across Member States. The problem is that no framework exists at the
European level to facilitate common surveillance activities across all Member States nor
ensure their proper resourcing. This situation is likely to remain the same in future as
most Member States do not plan to make additional resources available to surveillance
and enforcement activities according to a European Parliamentary study from October
Hence ANEC calls on the Commission to create a European framework for market
surveillance and to take measures to improve the traceability of products. We also plead
for the establishment of a pan-European accident statistical system to ensure that the
actions taken address the risks posed by products properly and effectively.
Noting that many RAPEX notifications still relate to toys originating from China, we repeat
our call for legislators and standardisers to come together and streamline the systems
which govern the safety of toys around the world. ANEC understands that Chinese
manufacturers have to meet 15 legislative and standardisation systems in the export of
toys to other markets. Such diversity leads to an increased risk of the non-compliance of a
product. Although not all non-compliant products are unsafe, it is the case that unsafe
products are almost always non-compliant.
Stephen Russell, ANEC Secretary-General, commented: “It is only through working
together that Member States can ensure a high level of product safety for European
consumers. They will be able to do so only if a common framework is created by the
European Union and a real commitment is made to make the resources available.”
1 Study on Effectiveness of Market Surveillance in the Member States commissioned by the IMCO Committee (the committee
on Internal Market and Consumer Protection)