Further benefits to the consumer can be achieved by improving information about products and raising safety awareness levels among users. With these measures a significant number of consumer product-related injuries can be prevented.
EuroSafe aims to establish close collaboration and exchange of information among all stakeholders involved in consumer safety across Europe.
EuroSafe believes that the opportunity exists to address current shortfalls in consumer safety, through a collaborative approach between the EC, Member States’ authorities, business and consumer organisations.
Our vision is that all stakeholders involved in the design, production and marketing of consumer products should accept their responsibilities. This includes:
- Manufacturers, importers and distributors being able to apply legislation in full without over-burdensome administrative requests from enforcement authorities;
- Legislators regulating the market pre-entry and post-entry with simple, coherent, cost-efficient and proportionate requirements, which could facilitate both compliance and enforcement, including effective dissuasion of rogue operators;
- Professionals and Consumers being able to make informed purchasing decisions and using their products with care and as foreseen;
- Enforcement authorities operating with adequate means in close cross-policy and EU-wide co-ordination with their colleagues and in improved intelligence with business and consumer representatives
The establishment of the Single Market in Europe has led to quite complex requirements which can never cover all potential risks. Hence, innovative actions are needed to enhance product safety, for instance by promoting safety in design and increasing risk awareness among consumers.
A number of lapses in implementing consumer product safety legislation have been identified and these relate to:
- Ambiguity as to powers of the Member States to enforce vis-à-vis the need for EU-level coordination;
- Insufficient exchange of information among enforcement agencies, national governments and major stakeholders (such as businesses and consumer organisations);
- Enforcement structures and capacities within countries not being aligned with new business models and demands of economic operators.
Many stakeholders are involved in the process of regulating and enforcing product safety in Europe, including governments and their designated enforcement agencies, business and consumer organisations.
The EC relies heavily on an exchange of information with Member States and their enforcement agencies, but this exchange does not always consider the interests of businesses and consumers when implementing consumer product safety policies and instruments.
Instead it could more proactively use the extensive knowledge, experience and expertise of businesses and consumer organisations and available good practice solutions, such as for risk assessment methodologies and provide better information to consumers.
EuroSafe believes that the opportunity exists to develop a series of actions to address these shortfalls, through a collaborative approach between the EC, member state authorities, and business and consumer organisations.
EU-level organisations such as ProSafe, ANEC and EuroSafe are committed to creating positive dialogue between the stakeholders involved and to work towards the much needed innovation and collaboration in shaping effective and efficient safety policies for citizens in Europe.