Quality assurance forum


Published on 09 23, 2013

Items introduced onto the markets of the European Community must meet the minimum safety requirements as indicated in the directive “new approach” with indications for each single item.  

As Directives have not been created for every product, the European Community has introduced a Directive that regards all consumer products: The General Product Safety  Directive (GPSD), was first published in 1992, substituted in 2001 and came into force in 2004.  

The GPSD is applicable to all consumer products that are not covered by a specific directive.  Application of the directive does not compromise the application of the directive 85/374/CEE regarding the responsibility for defective products.  

Obligations of Manufacturer and Distributer. 

The manufacturer will place on the market only items that are compliant with the general Safety requirements. They must also::

  • Inform the consumer with the risks  and the intended use of the product (where not evident)  
  • Adopt a system to prevent the risks (ex. Withdrawal of the products from the market, warnings of the end user  and the withdrawal from the market of items already supplied).

The  DISTRIBUTOR must also:

  • Supply only products that meet the minimal safety requirements.
  • Check the safety of the products on the market;
  • Supply the necessary information  to trace the products to their origin.

If manufacturer or distributor consider a product dangerous they must inform and collaborate with the competent Authorities.  This obligation is specified in the Attachment I of the Directive.

For this reason RAPEX (=rapid alert system for non-food consumer products) has been implemented. To facilitate the rapid exchange of information between Member States and the Commission on measures taken to prevent or restrict the marketing or use of products posing a serious risk to the health and safety of consumers with the exception of food, pharmaceutical and medical devices, which are covered by other mechanisms.

In February 20123 a European Commision pubblished  “The European Parliament rules for the safety requirements for consumer products “, which should nullify the directive 2001/95/EC (GPSD).