The European Commission has released its 2017 annual report for the Rapid Alert System (RAPEX). The report shows 2201 alerts were sent through RAPEX in 2017, with 3952 follow-up actions. This demonstrated a stabilization in the number of notifications and member state follow-up actions.
The report confirms, as in previous years, that ‘toys’ constitute the largest sector of RAPEX notifications, with 29%. This is followed by motor vehicles (20%) and then ‘clothing, textiles and fashion items’ (12%). The most common form of risk was ‘injury’, with 28%, followed by ‘chemical’ (22%) and then ‘choking’ (17%).
RAPEX was instigated in 2003. Since then, there has shown a continuous increase in the number of alert notifications, year-on-year. The latest data, however, suggests there is a stabilization of this trend, at around 2000 alerts per year and almost 4000 follow-up actions by member states. These may include the wholesale removal of dangerous products from their markets. Stabilization signifies the apparent efficiency of the RAPEX system in identifying and removing harmful products.
The report’s authors are therefore keen to highlight the next challenge – ensuring products sold online are also compliant with European safety standards. To achieve this, national authorities must develop and utilize tools to monitor online sales in combination with the European Union’s attempts to engage with web platforms to improve safety. This can only be achieved through collaboration with other major global markets.
Issued on March 12, 2018, the 2017 Annual Report was presented to journalists at SGS CEBEC in Brussels by Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vĕra Jourová.
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