EU RAPEX Annual Report Highlights Dangerous Products Sold Online

Top Quote The European Commission's 2016 RAPEX Annual Report details 244 notifications concerning unsafe products being sold online. The report also notes stabilization in the number of notifications and an increase in member state reactions. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) April 29, 2017 - The European Commission (EC) has released the 2016 edition of the Rapid Alert System (RAPEX) Annual Report. The latest version draws attention to the problem of dangerous products being sold online. In 2016, 244 notifications were issued concerning unsafe products being sold via the internet.

    The rapid growth of e-commerce has created a problem for national authorities, one which, the report explains, requires a tailor-made approach to ensure the safety of products that are sold online and shipped directly to consumers. The report explains that several national authorities have begun monitoring websites and contacting platforms directly concerning unsafe products. In addition, the EC has been working with online platforms regarding cooperation in detecting dangerous products. Finally, the report also states the commission is currently preparing guidelines to help national authorities and businesses ensure customers are protected when they buy products online.

    RAPEX was established in 2004 to enable a quick exchange of information between 31 European countries and the European Commission about dangerous non-food products posing a risk to the health and safety of consumers. In recent years, the number of notifications has stabilized, with a total of 2,044 in 2016, down slightly from 2072 in 2015.

    However, there has been a significant increase in the number of reactions posted by member states. The 2016 report shows 3,824 responses - almost double the number of notifications - up from 2745 in 2015. Since 2009, the names of member states with reactions have been included in the official published data. A reaction denotes that a national authority has found the notified product on the market in their country and they have taken steps to manage the situation. This uplift in the number of reported reactions suggests that national authorities are responding to notifications on products and are increasingly looking at the measures taken by other countries, in order to make sure these harmful products are not offered for sale in their territories.

    Looking at the broad trends contained within the report, toys were again the most notified category of dangerous product, with 26% of notifications. This represents an increase of one percent. In 2015, the second largest category was Clothing, Textiles and Fashion Items, with 17% of notifications, however, in 2016, this had dropped to third with 13%. Motor Vehicles have moved into second place with 18% of notifications.

    One of the primary concerns regarding toys is the use of dangerous chemicals, including phthalates and azo dyes. Chemicals had been the most commonly notified risk type in 2015, with 25% of notifications, but has returned to second place in 2016, with 23%. Instead, injuries returned to first place with 25% of notifications. This was due, in large part, to the number of motor vehicle notifications that were associated with a risk of injury.

    To see a breakdown of the most notified dangerous product categories and risk categories, view our Safeguard 054/17.

    SGS Consumer Products Services
    SGS is committed to providing information about changes in regulations for consumer products. Throughout their global network of laboratories, they provide a wide range of services including physical/mechanical testing, analytical testing and consultancy work for technical and non-technical parameters applicable to a comprehensive range of consumer products. Learn more about SGS's Consumer Products Services. (

    SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full EU RAPEX Annual Report 2016: Focus on Dangerous Products Sold Online SafeGuardS. (

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    For further information contact:
    Frederique Lorber
    Knowledge Management Project Manager
    Tel: +33 4 42 61 64 42
    Email: ( @ ) sgs dot com

    About SGS
    SGS is the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 90,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,000 offices and laboratories around the world.

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