Better tackle unsafe products sold online
Today, the Commission has presented its proposal to revise the Product Safety Directive. The Commission wants to ensure that products on the EU internal market meet the high requirements of EU-wide safety standards. Safety deficiencies are regularly found in gadgets containing toxic chemicals, technical devices such as smoke detectors and medical products such as face masks, which are often bought on webshops from outside the EU. The current rules were also not fit to deal with cybersecurity and data protection risks of connected devices. Last year, on the initiative of the Greens/EFA Group, the European Parliament called for more responsibility for online marketplaces, stricter inspection of imported products and more resources for the authorities to do controls.
Kim van Sparrentak MEP, Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on the Addressing Product Safety in the Single Market Report, comments:
"Toxic substances in gadgets for Euro 2020, in children's beds and in protective masks can put people in acute danger and have no place in the EU internal market. We Greens/EFA welcome the European Commission's push to better enforce high EU-wide standards. EU rules must keep pace with digitalisation, which is why it is right that the EU Commission wants to adapt the legal situation to the challenges of growing online trade and connected devices. It’s positive that online marketplaces will have to be connected automatically to Safety Gate, the EU register of unsafe products, and that the evaluation of the safety of a product should take into account cybersecurity and self-learning features. A key demand of the Greens/EFA.
"We regret that the Commission didn’t follow key demands of the Greens/EFA and the European Parliament. A product will still only be checked when it is placed on the market and not when it is fundamentally changed by software updates or self-learning AI. That web shops will get five days to react to a notification about an unsafe product is too long. Web shops that can get a package to your doorstep the next morning, should be able to take unsafe products out of the digital shelves within 24h. The Commission also didn’t propose new measures to avoid the sale of everyday consumer items that contain high levels of toxic chemicals "
Read the Report on addressing product safety in the single market (2019/2190(INI))