EN
English
Search
Consumer product safety
How product safety rules are defined and enforced in the EU.
PAGE CONTENTS
The General Product Safety Directive
Consumer Agenda and EU product safety strategy
The revision of the General Product Safety Directive
Documents
The General Product Safety Directive
EU rules on product safety are defined in the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD). Under the directive a product is safe if it meets all statutory safety requirements under European or national law.
If there are no regulations or EU standards referenced in the Official Journal of the European Union, the product's compliance is determined according to other reference documents such as other European standards, national or international standards, Commission recommendations, or codes of practice.
The General Product Safety Directive applies to consumer products when there are no specific provisions with the same objective in the rules of EU Law governing the safety of the products concerned. That means it applies totally to products such as child care articles or certain COVID-19 related products, such as sanitising gels and certain type of face masks and only residually to products where sectorial legislation exists such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF BUSINESSES
Businesses must:
To report dangerous products to national authorities businesses can use this tool Product Safety Business Gateway
RESPONSIBILITIES OF NATIONAL AUTHORITIES
Appointed national authorities are responsible for market surveillance. They:
National authorities send information about the measures taken against dangerous products found on their markets to Safety Gate, the EU rapid alert system for dangerous non-food products.
Consumer Agenda and EU product safety strategy
The Consumer Agenda adopted by the European Commission November 2020 sets a number of important objectives: becoming greener and more safely digital, protecting vulnerable consumers and enhancing the international cooperation.
These issues became even more urgent following the COVID-19 outbreak, when more consumers became vulnerable, not only because of health and financial difficulties, but also because purchasing online became even more common and therefore also the exposure to scams or illegally sold products.
In this context, ensuring a high-level of protection to consumers has become even more important. The EU product safety policy, one of the pillars of the Consumer Agenda is key in order to achieve the aims it pursues.
The revision of the General Product Safety Directive
Although one of the central pieces of legislation ensuring that all non-food products sold to consumers in the EU market are safe, the GPSD has become outdated and needs to be revised to keep ensuring the safety net for European consumers.
The European Commission is currently revising the Directive to adapt to present challenges and to better ensure that all kinds of products are safe, online or in a traditional brick and mortar shop, and that all consumers are protected. The European Commission should present their proposal by end of 2021.
This revision, among others, will focus on:
Steps of the revision of the GPSD:
23 June 2020 - 1 September 2020: Feedback on the roadmap
30 June 2020 - 6 October 2020: Open public consultation
30 June 2021: European Commission adopted Proposal for a Regulation on Product Safety
Documents
STUDY
30 JUNE 2021
JUSTICE AND CONSUMERS
Study to support the preparation of an evaluation of the GPSD as well as of an impact assessment on its revision
The study contains an evaluation of the General Product Safety Directive and an impact assessment on the potential revision of the GPSD.
STUDY
30 JUNE 2021
JUSTICE AND CONSUMERS
Behavioural study on strategies to improve the effectiveness of product recalls
The study includes a main report, an executive summary and a technical annex.
New General Product Safety Regulation - factsheet
30 June 2021
English (454 KB - PDF)
Download
Available languages (2)
Proposal for a Regulation on general product safety
30 June 2021
English (793.1 KB - PDF)
Download
Annex to the Proposal for a Regulation on general product safety
30 June 2021
English (60.6 KB - PDF)
Download
Impact Assessment accompanying the Proposal for a Regulation on general product safety
30 June 2021
English (3.7 MB - PDF)
Download
Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment Report accompanying the Proposal for a Regulation on general product safety
30 June 2021
English (81.8 KB - PDF)
Download
Report on the implementation of Directive 2001/95/EC
30 June 2021
English (690.3 KB - PDF)
Download
Study for the preparation of an Implementation Report of the GPSD, part 1
29 September 2021
English (2.6 MB - PDF)
Download
Publication of Part 2, Country reports annexed to the GPSD implementation study
01 July 2021
English (4.7 MB - PDF)
Download
Departments
Justice and Consumers
Was this page useful?
Is there an issue with this page?
European Commission website
This site is managed by the Directorate-General for Communication
Strategy
About the European Commission
Business, Economy, Euro
Live, work, travel in the EU
Law
Funding, Tenders
Research and innovation
Energy, Climate change, Environment
Education
Aid, Development cooperation, Fundamental rights
Food, Farming, Fisheries
EU regional and urban development
Jobs at the European Commission
Statistics
News
Events
Publications
About the European Commission's web presence
Contact the European Commission
Follow the European Commission on social media
Resources for partners
Languages on our websites
Cookies
Privacy policy
Legal notice
An official EU website
This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Find out more on how we use cookies.
Accept all cookies
Accept only essential cookies
HomeBusiness, Economy, EuroProduct safety and requirementsProduct safety