THERE are serious concerns around the safety of many toys being purchased online, according to Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune.
MEP Clune said: “There are so many dangerous toys being sold online and it is now more important than ever that we protect consumers.
“Many people will be buying toys online, especially this year and it is important that we do what we can to ensure that what consumers are buying for their children are safe. We must have the same rules for what is illegal offline to be illegal online also.”
The European Parliament has proposed a series of measures to strengthen consumer protection and enhance product safety and sustainability. MEPs have addressed the issue of unsafe products, such as toys being sold online — particularly those sold on online marketplaces. This includes products that contain dangerous chemicals, have unsafe software, or pose other safety hazards.
Ms Clune has asked the European Commission to focus on sellers not adhering to regulations at the European Commission. This comes as the EU is finalising plans for new legislation called the Digital Services Act (DSA).
Ms Clune said: “In 2019, a record number of dangerous products were flagged by the Commission’s Rapid Alert System. This is a system that helps prevent or restrict the sale of dangerous items. Toys were the most notified product category, making up just under a third of all reports. Twenty-three percent of alerts concerned motor vehicles and eight percent concerned electrical equipment.
“In addition to this, a recent study from a group of consumer organisations tested 250 electrical goods, toys, cosmetics and other products bought from online marketplaces such as Amazon, AliExpress, eBay and Wish.
“They selected the products based on possible risks and found that 66% of them fail EU safety laws with possible consequences such as electric shock, fire or suffocation.”
The Digital Services Act will also aim at increasing cooperation between platforms and competent authorities and between authorities in Member States to ensure effective enforcement and oversight.
The Commission is also preparing a proposal to revise the General Product Safety Directive, scheduled for mid-2021, to tackle the safety issues of products sold on online channels, inter alia through an update of the general legal framework and other elements that would further improve the safety of products sold online.