Tánaiste launches consultation on EU proposals for updated product safety measures including safety of online gadgets and tech products

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Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar has launched a public consultation on a new EU proposal to ensure that EU consumers are protected from unsafe products in a digital age.

The EU Commission’s proposed Regulation on General Product Safety (GPSR) also wants to ensure a level playing field for businesses when accessing the EU market.

The proposed Regulation would replace the General Product Safety Directive, which has been in place for 20 years.

It deals with issues around the safety of products, including new technology products, enhances market surveillance of dangerous products in the EU, and makes their recalls more effective.

“Over the past 20 years, consumers have been purchasing more and more items online. Last year almost three quarters of consumers across the EU shopped online in some form. Many of them bought new technology products. This market for gadgets is vast, and expanding rapidly,” the Tánaiste said.

“This proposed Regulation from the EU Commission aims to deal with risks related to these new technology products, including cybersecurity, and introduce product safety rules for online marketplaces. Its ultimate aim is to ensure that all products reaching EU consumers are safe, whether they are bought from online marketplaces or in the local shop, from within the EU or from outside.”

The Tánaiste encourages all stakeholders to submit their views on this proposal for a Regulation.

The Public Consultation is available on the Department’s website. The Consultation will remain open until 24 September 2021.

Note for Editors:

The EU Commission has recently issued a proposal for a Regulation on General Product Safety to replace the General Product Safety Directive (Directive 2001/95/EC – GPSD).

The General Product Safety Directive applies to all non-food consumer products to the extent that there are no specific provisions with the same safety objective in other EU legislation. The proposed General Product Safety Regulation (GPSR) makes substantial amendments to the GPSD, which has been in place for the last 20 years. The proposed GPSR seeks to increase the protection offered to EU consumers in respect of products they purchase, both in physical shops and online, whilst also addressing challenges posed by new technologies and connected devices. The GPSR also looks to enhance the market surveillance of dangerous products in the EU and ensure that any recalls of such products are effective.  In Ireland the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is the market surveillance authority under the GPSD.

As the GPSD regulates non-harmonised products there are potentially a wide-ranging number of stakeholders that may have an interest in the new instrument.

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