China-EU Relations

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China reduced toxic toys exports, says EU

13.05.11 @ 09:30

  1. By Valentina Pop
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BRUSSELS - Fewer toxic toys and skin-irritating textiles have been imported on the European market, thanks to a clamp down from Chinese authorities, the EU commission said on Thursday (12 May).

  • Most dangerous toys come from China (Photo: Peppercorn Pixie)

The number of unsafe products banned, withdrawn or recalled from consumers last year, rose 13 percent to 2,244 products against the previous year. Chinese goods accounted for 58 percent of those products, down from 60 percent of unsafe products in 2009.

"The Chinese government attaches great importance to consumer product safety," said Chinese minister for quality supervision Zhi Shuping during a joint press conference with EU health commissioner John Dalli.

"We will strive to improve the quality and safety of Chinese products," the Chinese official added, acknowledging that his government has a responsibility "to people around the world."

A special alert system known as Rapex was put in place in the EU in 2004, allowing the quick withdrawal of goods which are deemed dangerous for consumers.

The majority of such goods, mainly clothes and toys were spotted in Germany last year, followed by Bulgaria and Hungary.

Europe's umbrella organisation for consumer protection (BEUC) hailed the developments, even if the increase in detected goods signals there is still room for improvement.

"The upcoming review of the General Product Safety Directive should be the opportunity to set up an improved European framework for market surveillance and for better product traceability, requiring for instance manufacturers to mark their products with a batch or serial number," said Monique Goyens, BEUC director.