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, 2013.
According to the Commission’s report, 2364 notifications of products posing a serious risk to health and safety were processed through the RAPEX system during 2013, the highest annual number of recorded notifications on record. The 2013 notification total represents a 22% increase over 2012’s 1938 notifications, and a 52% increase over 2011’s 1556 notifications.
In past years, the Commission has attributed increases 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 2364 notifications of products processed through the RAPEX system during the year as presenting a serious risk to consumers, 583 (25%) were related to clothing, textiles and fashion items, with an additional 580 (25%) related to toys, and 207 (9%) related to electrical appliances. There were also 160 notifications related to motor vehicles (7%), and 68 notifications (3%) related to childcare articles and children’s equipment.
Regarding the country of origin identified in connection with products posing a serious safety risk, almost two-thirds of all notifications (64%) were related to products originating from China, including Hong Kong. 12% of unsafe products originated in EU Member States, while 10% failed to identify any country of origin.