29th Jun 2022

Chinese toys top EU product blacklist

The EU has issued an alert against almost 1,000 dangerous products being sold across Europe over the past year, with potentially harmful toys representing a fourth of the blacklisted goods and half of all notified products being imports from China.

According to a report by the European rapid alert system for dangerous consumer products (RAPEX) to be presented today (19 April), the national authorities took protective measures against 924 products in 2006.

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Of the five most problematic types of products - mainly posing risks of injuries, electric shock, burns or suffocation - toys (221 notifications representing 24%) dominated the list, followed by electrical appliances (19%), motor vehicles (14%), lighters (11%) and cosmetics (5%).

Compared to the previous year, toys took over from electrical appliances as the most risky products in 2006, receiving the most notifications for not being in line with the EU's product safety rules.

Cheap and unsafe mini-motorbikes imported to the EU have also caused special concern in Brussels. As reduced-scale copies of normal motorbikes with internal combustion engines, they proved to have serious design and construction defects and on some occasions had caused serious accidents, according to the RAPEX report.

Germans (16%), Hungarians (15%), Greeks (11%) and Britons (10%) were the most active in reporting the dangerous items while the total number of notifications rose by 32 percent compared to 2005.

Around 48 percent of the blacklisted goods were imported from China as the biggest exporter to the EU, about one fifth was produced within the 27-strong bloc itself and 17 percent of notified products were of unknown origin.

The EU executive is planning to upgrade the current version of the alert system with new IT technology to cover biological and chemical risks as well as risk in food and feed - all of which are currently beyond its scope.

Commission says China's progress on toy safety 'encouraging'

The European Commission has said that "considerable progress" has been made by China on toy safety in response to several major toy recalls on health grounds. But it has proposed a string of initiatives aimed at strengthening the enforcement and implementation of product safety controls.

Green crime-fighting boss urgently required, key MEP says

The European Parliament approved last week a non-binding resolution on illegal logging, calling to extend the EU public prosecutor's mandate to also cover environmental crime. The lead MEP on the file has called for urgent implementation.

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