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Media comment: UK/EU Review – General Product Safety Directive


Written on 1 July 2021

There have been two important updates in relation to UK/EU product safety law: First, the EU has announced yesterday the outcome of its Refit review of the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD). Second, the UK’s own post-Brexit consultation on product safety laws has just closed.

Both the EU and UK reviews are seeking to address the same issues, and this is likely to lead to legislation that will significantly change the way both modern and traditional products are produced, supplied and monitored across the UK and EU.   These changes will affect businesses that manufacture, import or supply products and will bring new obligations to online marketplaces.

Katie Vickery, Head of the Products Team at Osborne Clarke LLP comments on the EU’s announcement:

  • “The requirements on product safety in the EU are set to dramatically change.  The rules around making sure consumers only receive safe products are getting tougher on everyone in the supply chain and, for the first time, online marketplaces will take on new obligations.”
  • “Under the EU proposal online marketplaces will have increased responsibility for the products that are sold via their platforms.  Be this the provision of additional information, responding to regulators or to meet mandatory requirements to deal with dangerous products.  Some marketplaces will need to take steps to enhance the capabilities of their platform to meet these potential new requirements and to develop new internal systems to meet the proposed obligations.”
  • “One of the proposals is to increase the level of penalty that can be imposed for non-compliance and allow member states to impose a fine of at least 4% of annual turnover in the relevant member state where the non-compliance occurred.  This is in line with the fines imposed by GDPR and the Consumer Omnibus Directive and would be a significant deterrent.”

For more information on product safety law, please contact one of the experts below.

UK – Katie Vickery, Thomas Stables, Anna Lundy and Veronica Webster Celda
Belgium – Marie Canivet and Louis Hoffreumon
France – Béatrice Delmas-Linel and Claire Bouchenard
Germany – Konstantin Ewald, Marcus Sacre, Andrea Schmoll, Christoph Torwegge and Christoph Pitzer
Italy – Angelo Molinaro and Maria Grazia Medici                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Spain – Rafael García del Poyo and Samuel Martinez