A Cork-based MEP has highlighted concerns around the online sale of dangerous toys and asked for a focus to be put on sellers not adhering to regulations.
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune raised the matter at the European Commission and also asked the Commission if they intend to place additional requirements on platforms to prevent the sale of dangerous toys and also asked what type of measures the Commission would envisage in this regard.
In response, the European Commission said it is aware of the increasing challenges around the sale of dangerous products online.
They said the Covid-19 crisis has also cast a spotlight on the proliferation of illegal goods, practices and content and the necessity for clear rules and effective enforcement.
The Commission said that the Digital Services Act (DSA) framework, which is being finalised, should increase the safety of users online by modernising and harmonising procedures and responsibilities of platforms, setting clear obligations to address illegal goods and content disseminated online.
The DSA will set guidelines for the new online landscape, including online platforms, to ensure a better, safer digital environment for users and companies throughout the EU.
MEP Clune said that having the requirement for platforms to act quickly and take down unsafe products is “really important”.
She said that there is “concern currently at the lack of regulation when it comes to buying online” in relation to toys which do not meet EU safety measures and that shoppers should be aware that some products on sale do not meet safety standards.
“At present, online platforms must remove the dangerous items once they become aware of them but further consumer studies have shown that the same dangerous items can reappear a number of months or years later,” she said.
MEP Clune said that a record number of dangerous products were flagged by the Commission’s Rapid Alert System in 2019 with toys making up “just under a third of all reports”.
“23% of alerts concerned motor vehicles and 8% concerned electrical equipment,” she said.