Online Retailers Want to Prohibit Hazardous Products

Hazardous products, including toys and electronic devices, should soon disappear from the market more quickly than ever before. That’s the goal of online retailers Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, and Rakuten France. In the presence of the EU Commissioner for Justice, Vera Jourovà, company representatives signed a product safety pledge. The EU Commission issued a press release on the signing. According to the pledge, the four retailers promise to react to notifications from governmental agencies within two business days and to respond to customers’ notifications of hazardous products within five business days.

In addition, the online retailers want to take the following measures:

  • Provide customers with a contact point on the platform so that they can easily and quickly register hazardous goods
  • Inform consumers about products that have already been recalled
  • Provide EU countries with a central point of contact they can work with
  • Inform sellers about product safety regulations and require them to comply with applicable law (the E-Commerce Directive, for example)

Vera Jourovà called on other online retailers to join the initiative and make the marketplace safer for consumers. To ensure that the pledge is implemented quickly, the signatories plan on checking progress along with the EU every six months and issuing a report on their findings.

After the March appearance of a report, Rapid Alert System 2017, European consumer protection agencies reported on about 2,200 hazardous products last year. The report resulted in about 4,000 recalls or cases of stopped sales or imports.

According to Statista, online and mail-sales in 2017 made up about 13% of overall retail sales in Germany.

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