Brussels, 22 November 2007
Toy safety: Commission presents Consumer Product Safety Review and welcomes "considerable progress" from China
Commissioner Meglena Kuneva today set out a series of initiatives where action will be taken to strengthen the enforcement and implementation of product safety controls currently in place in the EU. Priority measures which will move forwards in the coming months include: an in-depth audit of business safety measures in the toy supply chain (completion first quarter 2008); a series of specific measures to reinforce risk based surveillance by national market surveillance and customs authorities - including a targeted measure by the Commission requiring appropriate warnings about the dangers of magnets in toys. Increasing co-operation with China and the US will remain a priority. The results of the latest RAPEX-China report (Rapid Alert System for dangerous consumer goods) show considerable progress by the Chinese Authorities in taking corrective actions to stop the flow of dangerous goods onto the European market. The report shows that 184 cases have been fully investigated during the three month period July-September 2007, compared to just 84 cases in the 2 previous reports combined (July 2007, December 2006). Corrective actions were taken in 43% of the cases. By December 2007, China will put in place a domestic alert system modelled on the RAPEX system to co-ordinate work with the regions and increase effective cooperation.
Commissioner Kuneva said: "In this world you cannot give 100% guarantees. But you can make sure the system is fit for purpose. You can ensure that all the links in the chain raise their game. You can ensure that producers, importers, retailers and governments and EU are ready to rapidly identify and tackle any new problems as they emerge. I can assure you 100% of my commitment to keep the pressure on to ensure the highest possible level of safety for our citizens."
Results of the Stocktaking Review.
1. Economic Operators
The first legal responsibility to put safe toys on the market lies with industry. Effective follow up action has been taken by industry for recent recalls, but the constant stream of RAPEX notifications show there are still significant problems within the industry in making sure, particularly at the lower end of the market, that toys are safe. Priority areas for action include:
2. Member States' Actions
Member State surveillance authorities have generally been vigilant and accompanied positively and effectively the 'voluntary' recalls. Priority areas for action include:
3. International Co-operation – China and the US
The analysis of the RAPEX-China report showed that the Chinese administration has made a significant effort with respect to RAPEX enforcement actions.
4. Regulatory Framework .