EU improves notification process for dangerous products

The European Commission (EC) today published new guidelines for how the public is notified of unsafe products on the market in European Union countries.

The EC guidelines concern two broad areas of warnings: First, warnings related to “serious” product defects that are released under the Community Rapid Information System, also known as the “RAPEX”; and second, product defects that are deemed “non-serious.”

“The new guidelines have a clearer structure and layout and, consequently, information will be more accessible to the national authorities, more uniform and less open to interpretation,” the EC said in a statement.

The guideline improvements were made to deal with a four-fold increase in the number of product defect notifications being made over the last five years, to about 1,800 a year, the EC stated. It attributed the increase to an increase in cooperation between EU members and other countries on sharing information about defects.

The new guidelines explain the data to be included in a notification, create a standard notification form and establish criteria for determining the level of urgency.