European Consumer Commissioner
Presentation of RAPEX Annual Report 2007 (Rapid Alert System for Dangerous Consumer Goods)
Press conference speaking points
Brussels, April 17th 2008
1. 2007 WAS A VERY SIGNIFICANT YEAR FOR CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY
2. I AM VERY PLEASED TO REPORT TO YOU THAT RAPEX PASSED WITH "FLYING COLOURS"
There are three key findings in the RAPEX Report for 2007:
WHAT IS BEHIND THESE STATISTICS? AND WHAT LESSONS SHOULD WE DRAW?
A 53% increase in notifications means that that fewer dangerous consumer goods – particularly toys - are "slipping through the net". The system is working better. Member states are more and more active and I am pleased to say so is the industry, both in Europe, and in those countries that supply us such as China. This is very good news.
The second is that toys were the number one priority for market surveillance checks in Europe in 2007 - particularly last year, after the summer of recalls. We asked Member States in the Autumn 2007 to significantly step up checks on toys – they "dug deep" and the results are very impressive.
Finally, it is clear that while we have made real progress with China – there is a lot more to be done.
But I believe that the Chinese government has realized the importance of product safety and of protecting the 'made in China' brand. I believe our current cooperation with China has yielded encouraging results. I believe that RAPEX-China system has been instrumental in lying foundation of a 'market-surveillance' culture in China.
The 2007 RAPEX report this year shows that we all have become better at spotting them.
But that is not enough.
The challenge now is to go beyond that.
We must prevent them from entering Europe in the first place.
That is why we decided to carry out a major stocktaking review. With that, we checked every step of the supply chain from design to the shelves.
A huge body of work is being done within the Commission to implement the recommendations of that review.
I will highlight just a few developments in my own department you for 2008
TO CONCLUDE: I SAID THERE WOULD BE NO COMPROMISE ON SAFETY.
I take that commitment very seriously. We have made progress – as you can see from the report published today.
But there is no room for complacency. There is a lot more work to be done.
Now I am very happy to take your questions.