Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Brussels, 25 April 2023

The Council has today adopted the general product safety regulation (GPSR), which reinforces the safety rules for products sold both offline and online. The regulation will reinforce market surveillance for unsafe products and consumer rights for anyone who has been sold an unsafe product.

With the adopted regulation, we are making sure that consumers enjoy the highest level of product safety, whether they shop online or physically. If we are serious in our digital transformation, we need to make sure that citizens feel confident about the safety of what they purchase independently of how they purchase it.

Erik Slottner, Swedish Minister for Public Administration

The regulation adopted today reinforces product safety and consumer protection, and makes it easier for consumers to repair, return or replace unsafe products. In detail:

  • online marketplaces will have to co-operate with market surveillance authorities if they detect a dangerous product on their platform, and must establish a single point of contact in charge of product safety
  • market surveillance authorities will be able to order online marketplaces to remove dangerous products from their platforms or to disable their access
  • a single market surveillance regime will apply to all products
  • if a product has proven to be unsafe, economic operators must immediately adopt corrective measures and inform market surveillance authorities and consumers
  • if a product must be recalled, consumers will be entitled either to have it repaired or replaced or to be refunded (and can choose between at least two of these options)
  • economic operators should have a person responsible for products sold online and offline (independently of the product’s origin), who will ensure the availability of technical documentation, instructions, and safety information

The 2001 directive on general product safety made sure that all consumer products placed or made available on the EU market are subject to general safety requirements.

However, the increasing number of goods and products sold online required an update to keep the rules fit for current digital and technological developments. The GPSR transforms the general product safety directive (that had to be transposed to national rules) into a regulation (which leaves no scope for divergent transposition by member states).

It modernises the rules for all economic operators (manufacturers, importers, and distributers) and for online businesses and online marketplaces. Transforming the directive into a regulation will also ensure a sound legal framework to guarantee that products are safe and follow European standards.

Next steps

Following today’s approval by the Council, the legislative act has been adopted.

After being signed by the President of the European Parliament and the President of the Council, the regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will enter into force on the 20th day after its publication.

Following the formal adoption of the regulation and its entry into force, member states will have 18 months to apply the new rules on general product safety.

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Source – EU Council


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