Proposal for the General Product Safety Regulation (GPSR)
Brussels, 30.6.2021 COM(2021) 346 final - 2021/0170 (COD)
Proposal for a Regulation of the european Parliament and of the Council on general product safety, amending Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Council Directive 87/357/EEC and Directive 2001/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council
This proposal for a Regulation on consumer product safety is in line with the New Consumer Agenda of 2020 aiming to:
(i) update and modernise the general framework for the safety of non-food consumer products;
(ii) preserve its role as a safety net for consumers;
(iii) adapt the provisions to challenges posed by new technologies and online selling; and (iv) ensure a level playing field for businesses.
While the proposal will replace the Directive 2001/95/EC on general product safety (‘GPSD’), it will continue applying to manufactured non-food consumer products. The proposed Regulation will also provide continuity with the GPSD by:
(i) requiring that consumer products be ‘safe’;
(ii) setting certain obligations for economic operators; and
(iii) containing provisions for the development of standards in support of the general safety requirement.
It also aligns the market surveillance rules for products falling outside the scope of the EU harmonisation legislation (‘non-harmonised products’) with those applying to products falling under the scope of the EU harmonisation legislation (‘harmonised products’) as set out in Regulation (EU) 2019/1020.
The proposed Regulation aims therefore both to update the rules currently set out in Directive 2001/95/EC to ensure a safety net for all products, and, at the same time, to ensure that the regime provides greater consistency between harmonised and non-harmonised products. Already in 2011, the Single Market Act identified the revision of the GPSD and of Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 as key actions ‘to improve the safety of products circulating in the EU through better coherence and enforcement of product safety and market surveillance rules’. Such revision was proposed in 2013 in a package including the revision of both legal instruments, the purpose being to introduce a single legislative framework for harmonised and non-harmonised products. It was considered that overlaps in market surveillance rules and obligations of economic operators laid down in various pieces of EU legislation (GPSD, Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 and sector-specific EU harmonisation legislation) have led to confusion among economic operators and national authorities and have hampered the effectiveness of market surveillance activity in the EU.
The proposed package stalled in negotiations for its adoption and was withdrawn. In the meantime, in 2017, following up on the 2015 Communication Upgrading the Single Market: more opportunities for people and business5, the Commission adopted a proposal to revise Regulation (EC) 765/2008 to strengthen product compliance and enforcement of EU harmonisation legislation on products,as part of the ‘goods package’, e.g. a package of initiatives to ensure a better functioning of the single market for goods. This led to the adoption, in 2019, of Regulation (EU) 2019/1020.