The Commission of the European Union (EU) has released statistics on notices of unsafe consumer products that have been processed through the EU’s rapid information system (RAPEX) for the year ending December 31, 2010.
According to the Commission’s report, 2244 notifications of products posing a serious risk to health and safety were processed through the RAPEX system during 2010. This represents a 13% increase in notifications over 2009, and a fourfold increase in the number of notifications received in 2004, when the RAPEX system processed just 468 notifications.
In its annual report, the Commission attributes the growth in notifications to:
- The increased awareness and attention given to product safety by national authorities and the business sector
- More frequent and more effective controls of consumer products on the market
- Joint market surveillance actions carried out by national authorities
- Numerous training actions and seminars provided by the European Commission for various stakeholders.
Of the 1963 notifications of products received during the year as presenting a serious risk to consumers, 625 (32%) were related to clothing, textiles and fashion items, with an additional 488 (25%) related to toys, and 158 (8%) related to electrical appliances. There were also 175 notifications related to motor vehicles (9%), and 72 notifications (4%) related to childcare articles and children’s equipment.
Regarding the country of origin identified in connection with products posing a serious safety risk, more than half of all notifications (1134, or 58%) were related to products originating from China, including Hong Kong. Another 334 notifications (17%) of unsafe products originated in EU Member States. Two-hundred and one notifications (10%) failed to identify any country of origin.