On 21 November 2017, PROSAFE’s biggest cross-border market surveillance activity to date, Joint Action 2014 (JA2014), concluded. This program of pan-European market surveillance activity ran from 15 May 2016 to 15 July 2017 and was jointly coordinated by the EU and PROSAFE. Over the past two years, 35 market surveillance authorities from 27 EU Member States or EFTA countries cooperated to target non-compliant products in five categories: safety barriers, LED and CFL lighting, acoustic toys, fireworks and power tools.
Objectives and Methodology
The aim of JA2014 was to co-ordinate product-specific market surveillance activities in the most efficient manner and provide an opportunity to evaluate best practices originally developed under PROSAFE’s Joint Actions program for 2009-2013. The structure of the action was threefold:
- Method development activities – develop methodologies and infrastructure that will support the market surveillance work in Member States e.g. risk assessment and E-learning.
- Project coordination activities – improve coordination of all Joint Actions being managed by PROSAFE, including the maintenance, implementation and development of existing best practice.
- Product-specific activities – increase the safety with a specific product or product category. JA2014 concentrated on products in the five categories above.
The sampling of products was conducted by market surveillance authorities following a risk-based approach. Officials targeted products as a result of a visual inspection to identify a likely non-compliance or products that are formally non-compliant due to a lack of warnings or inadequate labelling.
Results of JA2014
JA2014 led to the submission of over 128 notifications to RAPEX over the five categories of product. In summary, the key results were as follows:
- Safety Barriers: 106 safety barriers were identified as being potentially dangerous, with 71 of these failing to meet current safety standards. Sales bans were implemented on 14 products, 21 were withdrawn from the market and 22 were recalled from consumers.
- LED and CFL Lighting: 117 lamps were identified as being potentially dangerous, with 46 of these carrying deficiencies that would or may endanger the safety of users. 2 recalls were launched, 13 products were banned from sale and 12 were voluntarily withdrawn from the market.
- Acoustic Toys: 371 toys were identified as being potentially dangerous, with 37 of these found to be non-compliant due to peak sound or continuous sound levels greater than what is permitted in the technical standard. Market surveillance authorities issued 3 recalls, 30 sales-bans and/or withdrawals from the market and 26 RAPEX alerts were notified or are in the process of being notified.
- Fireworks: 424 samples were identified as being potentially dangerous, with 247 of these found to be non-compliant with current technical standards. Sales bans were implemented in respect of 26 products and 12 RAPEX notifications were made.
- Power Tools: 60 samples were tested, with all 60 found to be non-compliant with current technical standards. 51 of those tested presented two, three or even four non-conformities. 20 products were voluntarily taken off the market and 15 were removed by market surveillance authorities.
Future PROSAFE Projects
PROSAFE has a number of other Joint Action programmes currently ongoing, including:
- Joint Action on Machinery 2014 which will complete in February 2018 and concentrates on (i) identifying and dealing with non-compliant chainsaws and vehicle servicing lifts; (ii) reducing risks of serious injuries to consumers and workers from these products; and (iii) ensuring an improvement of the level of compliance and safety of these products.
- Joint Action 2015 which will complete in July 2018 and concentrates on developing the methodologies and infrastructure adopted in JA2014. This Joint Action specifically concentrates on the following products: soothers/soother-holders, plasticised toys, playgrounds, power tools and electrical appliances (including electric irons).
- Two Horizon 2020 projects: a market surveillance action focusing on passenger car tyres; and a strategic project being carried out by 12 participating Member States and the European Commission focusing on the newly adopted Energy Union Strategy.
Information on the calendar of events and extended reports on the testing of each of the products from JA2014, alongside other product safety publications, can be accessed on PROSAFE’s website: www.prosafe.org.
Dispatch from the EU is a monthly feature provided exclusively for PSL subscribers by Cooley LLP, www.cooley.com. For further information about the above, contact Rod Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.