General product safety regulation: Council adopts its position

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Member States agreed today on a mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament on the proposal for a regulation on general product safety (GPSR).

An increasing number of consumers buy goods and products online – a trend which was reinforced by the Covid-19 pandemic. To keep up with challenges linked to this trend, the GPSR proposal modernises the rules for online marketplaces and updates them for online businesses. The revised rules for general product safety aim to ensure that products of the digital age meet European safety standards.

Products sold in the European Union, online or offline, must be safe. In light of technological developments and the increasing digitalisation of our economy, it is important that we revise the current product safety rules.

Jaroslav Zajíček, Czech Deputy Permanent Representative

The GPSR proposal transforms the general product safety directive from 2001 into a regulation, as the directive was no longer suited to address current digital and technological challenges. Transforming the directive into a regulation will ensure a sound legal framework to ensure that products are safe and follow European standards.

The Council’s mandate

The Council position links product safety challenges to new technologies and to online marketplaces. Online marketplaces will have to make sure they know the traders and what kind of products they offer. Under the GPSR, they would also be required to establish a single point of contact in charge of product safety.

The GPSR moreover creates a single market surveillance regime that applies to all products and ensures that economic operators have a responsible person for all products that are sold online and offline. It also improves rules on the recall of products, on food imitating products, and on consumer remedies.

Next steps

Today’s mandate has been endorsed by the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper), which will allow the Council presidency to start negotiations with the European Parliament soon.