The Council and the European Parliament have reached a provisional agreement on the general product safety regulation (GPSR). This regulation updates the current rules to ensure that products sold both offline and online are safe and live up to European standards.
This regulation will help to reduce the number of dangerous products sold both offline and online in the EU market, including in online marketplaces. Consumers will be better protected and will also be entitled to a refund or replacement if they have purchased an unsafe product, said Jozef Síkela, Czech minister for industry and trade.
Buying safe products online
The GPSR links product safety challenges to new technologies and online marketplaces. Online marketplaces will have to cooperate with market surveillance authorities if they detect a dangerous product on their platform. For that purpose, they would be required to establish a single point of contact for product safety.
Online marketplaces will have to ensure they know the traders who operate on their platforms and the products they offer. Market surveillance authorities will be able to issue orders requiring online marketplaces to remove dangerous products from their platforms or to disable access to such offers. The GPSR also creates a single market surveillance regime for all products.
If a product has proven to be unsafe, economic operators are required to immediately adopt corrective measures and inform market surveillance authorities and consumers accordingly. If a product has to be recalled, consumers will be entitled to repair, replacement or a refund. When possible, economic operators have to make sure that consumers can choose from at least two of these options.
The new rules ensure that economic operators have a responsible person for products sold online and offline, whether they originate from the EU or a third country. The responsible person will be in charge of checking that technical documentation exists for the products that they are responsible for offered by the economic operator and that products are accompanied by instructions and safety information.
Following the formal adoption of the regulation and its entry into force, member states will have 18 months to apply the new rules on general product safety.