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The ‘YOU’RE RIGHT’ (#YourEURight) EU campaign informs consumers about product safety

14/11/2019 11:12

The Commission's Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers is responsible for EU policy on justice, consumer rights and gender equality (DG Just) continues implementing the ‘YOU’RE RIGHT’ (#YourEURight) awareness campaign to inform consumers for the safety of the products they purchase. The EU rules aim to ensure that all products sold in the EU comply with the EU safety requirements and laws, while thereare also alert systemsavailable to raise awareness and stir action.

Morespecifically, duetothefactthat the safety of a product is something consumers cannot easily assess in the moment of purchase, the EU has defined strict product safety standards. With the harmonization of legislation in all Member States, the EU aims to ensure a central single market for consumers, in which goods and services move freely without prejudice to consumer safety, health and welfare. For that reason, the EU legislation sets essential requirements to ensure that all products in the EU meet strict health, safety and environmental standards. The requirements may relate to the product itself (flammability, electrical properties or hygiene), the product's manufacturing process and its performance (e.g. energy efficiency).

In the spirit of the single market and the general product safety, there are systems available that allows Member States to exchange information on unsafe products that have been found on their market, such as the Rapid Alert System for non-food products(GRAS - RAPEX) as well as the  Rapid Alert System for food and feed. (RASFF). If, for example, a toy or a food product is recalled from a specific market, it is included in the system so that all countries know that this product is a serious risk to consumers. Furthermore, the Commission publishes weekly reports on the‘Safety Gate’webpage which is open to the public. There, consumers can subscribe to individualised reports, based on product groups that are of interest or concern them.

Inlightofthefast-approaching holiday season, duringwhichshoppingincreases, Mr. MariosDroushiotis, PresidentoftheCyprusConsumerAssociation, stated: ‘It is very important for consumers to be aware of their rights and to make use of the tools available to them, in order to ensure that the items they buy for themselves and their loved ones, are safe. It is also important to mention, that during 2018, the product categories that received the most alerts in Cyprus were children’s clothing, toys and electrical appliances, while for the EU the ranking was: toys, motor vehicles, and clothing, textiles and fashion items.’

Consumers are encouraged to immediately alert the seller and the authorities in their country, if they discover something that is unsafe. They can also ask to be compensated because a product should be safe during its whole lifespan. Each consumer has the right to demand that the products he/she uses daily are safe.

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