TUV Rheinland helps navigate toughened Europe regulations
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Rapid Alert System for nonfood consumer products (RAPEX), implemented in Europe in 2004, not only ensures that European consumer products are safe but also serves as an information-exchange platform that EU member-state market-surveillance authorities and the European Commission can use to quickly share and report hazardous products.
January 17, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
Since RAPEX was activated in 2004, thousands of products have been blacklisted every year. Makers of notified products are required, through EU market surveillance, to take different levels of preventive or corrective measures, and in serious cases a product recall will be requested.
Certain groups, especially babies and young children, generally require the most protection, so toys and children's clothing frequently appear on EU RAPEX lists. Other product categories such as electrical appliances, motor vehicles and cosmetics see more frequent notifications as well.
In 2011, for example, the product category with the highest number of RAPEX notifications was clothing textiles and fashion items, with 423 cases, followed by toys with 324 cases.
Independent certification bodies such as TUV Rheinland can be considered a type of market-protection mechanism. They not only help suppliers reduce safety concerns for unregulated products, but also avoid trade barriers that arise as a result of excessive regulation.
With 140 years of experience in testing and certification, TUV Rheinland Group has set up product-safety testing laboratories in 500 locations around the globe. The firm understands the product safety and quality issues that suppliers are concerned about.