Taxes & Law

EU declares war on unsafe products - new regulations for online stores

Fatih-Kağan Taşkoparan

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In times of digitalization and online shopping, the EU wants to strengthen its safety standards: online retailers are to take more responsibility for the products they sell and inform their customers better and faster in the event of recalls, for example. The EU member states and the EU Parliament have agreed on this agreed.

☑️Weniger Unsafe products on the EU market

💻New obligations for online stores

💶1 billion euros in savings in the first year

Negotiators from the European Parliament and the EU member states have agreed on stricter rules to protect consumers and online purchases. In supply chains, for example, online retailers and other companies are to bear more responsibility for the products they sell in future, as outlined in the Agreement emerges. Among other things, dangerous products are to be taken out of circulation more quickly (including from online marketplaces).

Ensuring higher EU safety standards

Products traded in the EU are subject to general safety requirements. However, in order to keep pace with the challenges of digitalization and the increasing number of goods and products sold online, the existing general product safety rules are no longer adequate to meet current digital and technological developments and challenges.

With the conversion of the General Product Safety Directive (2001/95/EC) from 2001 into a regulation, the rules for all economic operators (manufacturers, importers and distributors) have been modernized and updated for online companies and online marketplaces.

According to Anna Cavazzini (Greens), Chair of the Internal Market Committee in the EU Parliament, goods purchased from online retailers on marketplaces such as Amazon and imported from a third country bring many products into the internal market that do not comply with EU safety standards.

Better recalls & longer warranties

According to the agreed rules, a product can only be sold if there is an economic operator (e.g. manufacturer, importer, distributor) established in the EU who is responsible for the safety of the product. When assessing product safety, Parliament has provided for measures to ensure that risks to vulnerable consumers (e.g. children), gender-specific aspects and cybersecurity risks are taken into account.

The aim is to encourage responsible companies to provide their customers with better information, for example in the event of recalls. Buyers should also receive a longer warranty period: They have the right to have dangerous products replaced, repaired or the purchase price refunded.

EU consumers are set to save around one billion euros in the first year and over five billion euros over the next ten years.