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Product Safety and Market Surveillance Package

The Ex-Ante Impact Assessment unit of EPRS has recently produced, at the request of the IMCO Committee, two papers in relation to the ‘Product Safety and Market Surveillance Package’, which was adopted by the European Commission in February 2013.

  1. A ‘health check’ on the Commission’s Impact Assessment

This detailed appraisal analyses two aspects of the European Commission’s Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying its proposal for a Consumer Product Safety Regulation, which is a component of the package: country of origin marking and obligations for economic operators.

© Daniel Ernst / Fotolia

The ‘health check’ is carried out from two angles. First, it analyses whether the Commission’s IA is – with regard to the above subjects only – fit for its overall purpose, which is to aid political decision-making. Second, it analyses whether the IA meets the standards which the Commission has laid down in its internal Guidelines, as well as the quality criteria which the Parliament has defined in its resolutions.

A detailed analysis of both the IA and its Annexes leads to the following conclusions:

  1. An impact assessment of an amendment in the IMCO report on the Consumer Product Safety Regulation (rapporteur: Mrs Schaldemose) on ‘EU Safety Tested’ marking

As for all IAs on substantive amendments, this has been carried out by an external consultant.

Consumers today often misinterpret the CE mark as a safety mark, assuming that CE marked products have been tested for safety and approved by some kind of authority. IMCO proposes, in its Amendment n° 60, the introduction of a voluntary ‘EU Safety Tested’ Mark. This new mark could be affixed by manufacturers to all non-food consumer products, provided they are tested positively by third parties.

This impact assessment aims at analysing the possible costs and benefits (in particular for SMEs) of introducing this ‘EU Safety Tested’ mark, and to assess its feasibility. According to the IA, the idea of taking further action in order to reduce the number of unsafe products on the market and to deal with the challenge of resource constraints for market surveillance was welcomed by many stakeholders. However, the added value of affixing a mark for consumers was questioned.

The IA suggests the following recommendations:

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