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, 2012.
According to the Commission’s report, 1938 notifications of products posing a serious risk to health and safety were processed through the RAPEX system during 2012. This represents a 24.5% increase in notifications over 2011’s 1556 notifications, but nearly equal to the 1963 notifications received in 2010, the highest annual number of recorded notifications of products posing a serious risk.
In its annual report, the Commission attributes the 2012 increase in notifications to the “increased circulation of unsafe products,” but also to “vigilant and proactive” efforts for enforcement authorities in EU Member States to protect consumer safety through the removal of unsafe products from the market.
Of the 1938 notifications of products processed through the RAPEX system during the year as presenting a serious risk to consumers, 668 (34%) were related to clothing, textiles and fashion items, with an additional 366 (19%) related to toys, and 205 (11%) related to electrical appliances. There were also 149 notifications related to motor vehicles (8%), and 43 notifications (2%) 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 (58%) were related to products originating from China, including Hong Kong. 17% of unsafe products originated in EU Member States, while 11% failed to identify any country of origin.