EuroCommerce, the body which represents the retail and wholesale sector in Europe, has welcomed the proposed revision of the General Product Safety Directive.
The revision seeks to strengthen product safety and consumer credit rules for consumers, as more people have shifted to online shopping.
EuroCommerce director-general, Christian Verschueren, said the move was "long overdue" and added, "Since it was first adopted 20 years ago, the market has changed dramatically, in particular, due to digitalisation.
"This has further been accelerated by COVID-19, and we need rules which can address the many new ways in which products are bought and sold. The influx of products bought online from traders outside the EU which do not meet EU standards is one of these changes which needs effective action."
EuroCommerce emphasised that retailers need a coherent framework that ensures a high level of consumer trust that the products they buy are safe.
It should also balance the responsibilities for all market players, depending on their place in the supply chain.
The framework should also provide clear risk assessment rules for effective enforcement and recall of dangerous products, EuroCommerce added.
In addition, it should ensure the creation of a level playing field for all businesses selling to EU consumers and use digital technology to its full potential to alert the public about risks.
EuroCommerce also pointed out that in 2020, some 50% (1126) of alerts for dangerous goods concerned imports originating from China and Hong Kong.
Verschueren stated, "The bottom line is that unsafe products should not be on the EU market. If they are found, retailers and wholesalers actively cooperate with authorities to inform manufacturers or importers, and consumers. We, therefore, welcome the proposed action to further increase the efficiency of recalls."
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Dayeeta Das. For more Retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.