Fabian Demicoli

Information session on Product Safety: Your role as economic operator

On 3rdJuly, the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA) held an information session in collaboration with the GRTU on Product Safety and Market Surveillance.

This session was organised to provide information to economic operators with regards to their responsibilities to ensure product safety and how to 

make sure the products that are placed on the market are compliant. It is important that when selling a product certain certification and paperwork must be presented. This documentation will assist in saving time from having products picked up to be tested and from having to remove them from the market in case of problems. This applies to any products sold on the market, both coming from the EU and from outside the EU.

  • During the event, it was identified that an economic operator has the responsibility to:
  • Only place safe products on the market
  • Use ‘harmonized’ standards which give presumption of conformity
  • Provide relevant information to enable consumers to assess the risks inherent in a product
  • Adopt measures to enable them to be informed of risks and take appropriate actions
  • Ask for Declarations of Conformityfor CE marked products from the manufacturer
  • Check DOC for any possible issues (eg superseded standards, irrelevant standards, lack of signature, yesterday’s date, COC and not DOC, wrong product, no positive product identification, etc.)
  • Research RAPEX website for any banned products similar to the ones they are importing
  • Make sure intermediaries can be trusted.
  • If in doubt ask MCCAA for assistance before importing products

Economic operators also had the opportunity to learn about the RAPEX system which provides a rapid exchange of information between European countries and the European Commission about measures and actions taken in relation to products posing a serious risk to public interests. Through this system and other entities such as MCCAA, economic operators will be able to provide safe products to European consumers.

Thus market surveillance is essential in protecting European consumers and workers against risks presented by non-compliant products. In addition, market surveillance helps to protect responsible businesses from unfair competition by unscrupulous economic operators who ignore the rules or cut corners.

Further information on the RAPEX system can be accessed through the link: http://bit.ly/17vA07b

 

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