How can we prevent unsafe products to slip through the controls at European ports, to pass the production, importing and distribution chain unnoticed in order to be placed on the shelves of our supermarkets and shops? MEP J. Creutzmann and the CEOC representatives discussed integrated approaches of prevention.
On 14 September 2010 a CEOC delegation was invited by MEP Jürgen Creutzmann (Liberals, Germany) to his office at the European Parliament in Brussels in order to discuss possible concepts of improved market surveillance.
Every year thousands of unsafe products are sold within the European market and end up in the pockets and homes of citizens. The figures of tee European RAPEX system (Rapid Alert System for non-food products), which means unsafe products detected and declared, only represent a small percentage of the whole estimated amount of unsafe consumer goods. In 2009, RAPEX listed no less than 1,993 notifications, mostly toys, clothing and textiles and electrical appliances.
There is a clear need for more market surveillance, MEP Creutzmann said and he deplored that the European Commission has not yet taken the lead on this issue, but leaves market surveillance up to the member states. There is no overall concept on how to guarantee a European-wide product quality system based on a functioning market surveillance. A Europe with splintered approaches - in Germany market surveillance is not even dealt with at national level, but falls under the competency of the Lander - does not seem to be well prepared to prevent unsafe bulk goods to reach the customer.
A problem of this dimension cannot be tackled with a simple, one-fold approach, MEP Creutzmann argued. Employing 1000 new customs officers for instance would not solve the problem. Only an integrated approach, including all players in the market surveillance field, could significantly improve the situation. This concept would range from improved customs and port controls (for example by scanning of containers) to more transparent and protected safety marks such as the GS mark. Mr Creutzmann also referred to the US model where - unlike in the EU - every product needs to be certified before being put on the market. Mr Creutzmann concluded that true and sustainable market growth in the long run can only be realised on the basis of a reliable product chain and accompanying rules.
CEOC International and its members agreed to contribute to the further elaboration of a viable concept of improved market surveillance in Europe.
For more information please contact the CEOC International's General Secretariat: email@example.com.