European RAPEX 2019 Annual Report Shows Clear Focus from Market Surveillance on Children’s Safety

The European Union’s 2019 RAPEX Annual Report shows that there is a continued focus by market surveillance authorities on toys and children’s products.

Published on July 7, 2020, the latest results from the Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products (RAPEX) show that toys account for 29% of notified products, with motor vehicles in second place at 23%. Clothing, textiles, and fashion items are in third place with 8% of notifications, but it should be noted that children’s cloths and shoes are often the notified product. In 2019, toys also accounted for 7% of follow-up notices, a clear demonstration of Member State’s determination to protect children from dangerous products.

Since 2012, the annual reports show a general stabilization in the number of alerts. In 2019, a total of 2, 243 notifications for unsafe products were made. There was, however, an increase in the number of follow-up actions – from 4,050 to 4,477. 80% of these related to motor vehicles.

The annual report also shows that injury is the most notified risk, which again relates to a number of motor vehicle alerts and children’s clothes and toys. The second most notified risk was chemical (23%). These are mainly associated with certain toys, jewelry, and clothes.

When looking at risk in toys, we see 47% relate to chemicals – often the presence of phthalates in plastic dolls and boron in slime toys. In 2019, there was also a large number of toys found to be dangerous because they contained button batteries that were easily accessible and could be swallowed.

The report also notes that 16% of RAPEX alerts in 2019 related to dangerous products that were sold online. Internet sales are one of several areas that are receiving attention.

The EU Commission has also stated in its report that it is helping market surveillance authorities to work together on joint tests for specific projects – Coordinated Activities on the Safety of Products (CASP). The products that have been focused on so far are:

• 2019 – soft-filled toys, slime toys, personal transporters, children’s bicycle seats, batteries, and chargers
• 2020 – toys, jewelry, home play outdoor equipment, cables, small kitchen heating appliances, baby nests and children’s car seats

In addition, COVID-19 related products (masks, gloves, hand sanitizers) will also be analyzed in 2020.

The products chosen for CASP are a clear indication that children’s products remain a key focus of EU market surveillance authorities.

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For further information contact:
Frederique Lorber
Knowledge Management – Senior Project Manager
Tel: +33 4 42 61 64 42
LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail

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