Introduction of the General Product Safety Regulation

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The General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EG (GPSD) imposes a general safety requirement on any product that is put on the market for consumers or likely to be used by them, including all products that provide a service. This Directive applies in the absence of specific European regulations, governing the safety of certain categories of products or if specific regulations (sectoral) are insufficient.

The European Commission has identified the need to improve the way the general product safety regime in the EU works. From 2009 to 2011, the Commission held several public consultations on the revision of the GPSD. With input from stakeholders the European Commission was able to identify four main areas in need of improvement:

  • procedures for launching standardisation (“mandating European Standardisation Organisations”) under the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD)
  • harmonisation of safety evaluations
  • market surveillance cooperation and coordination
  • alignment of economic operator obligations with the New Legislative Framework for goods

After identifying the areas of improvement, the Commission subsequently submitted on 14th of February 2013 a proposal for a Regulation on consumer product safety, which will replace Directive 2001/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on general product safety. The European Union aims to implement this Regulation in the following two years.

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