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Consumer product safety

How product safety rules are defined and enforced in the EU.

The General Product Safety Directive

EU rules on product safety are defined in the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD). Under the directive a product is safe if it meets all statutory safety requirements under European or national law.

If there are no regulations or EU standards referenced in the Official Journal of the European Union, the product's compliance is determined according to other reference documents such as other European standards, national or international standards, Commission recommendations, or codes of practice.

The General Product Safety Directive applies to consumer products when there are no specific provisions with the same objective in the rules of EU Law governing the safety of the products concerned. That means it applies totally to products such as child care articles or certain COVID-19 related products, such as sanitising gels and certain type of face masks and only residually to products where sectorial legislation exists such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices.


Businesses must:

  • only place products which are safe on the market

  • inform consumers of any risks associated with the products they supply 

  • make sure any dangerous products present on the market can be traced so they can be removed to avoid any risks to consumers

To report dangerous products to national authorities businesses can use this tool Product Safety Business Gateway


Appointed national authorities are responsible for market surveillance. They:

  • check whether products available on the market are safe

  • ensure product safety legislation and rules are applied by manufacturers and business chains

  • apply sanctions when necessary

National authorities send information about the measures taken against dangerous products found on their markets to Safety Gate, the EU rapid alert system for dangerous non-food products.

Consumer Agenda and EU product safety strategy

The Consumer Agenda adopted by the European Commission November 2020 sets a number of important objectives: becoming greener and more safely digital, protecting vulnerable consumers and enhancing the international cooperation.

These issues became even more urgent following the COVID-19 outbreak, when more consumers became vulnerable, not only because of health and financial difficulties, but also because purchasing online became even more common and therefore also the exposure to scams or illegally sold products.

In this context, ensuring a high-level of protection to consumers has become even more important. The EU product safety policy, one of the pillars of the Consumer Agenda is key in order to achieve the aims it pursues.

The revision of the General Product Safety Directive

Although one of the central pieces of legislation ensuring that all non-food products sold to consumers in the EU market are safe, the GPSD has become outdated and needed to be revised to keep ensuring the safety net for European consumers.

The European Commission has revised the current Directive to adapt to present challenges and to better ensure that all kinds of products are safe, online or in a traditional brick and mortar shop, and that all consumers are protected. The European Commission adopted its proposal on 30 June 2021.

This revision, among others, has focused on:

  • the safety of products linked to new technologies as well as on the challenges posed by the growth of online sales;
  • ensuring a better enforcement of the rules and more efficient and even market surveillance;
  • improving the recall of dangerous products in the hands of consumers.

Steps of the revision of the GPSD:

23 June 2020 - 1 September 2020: Feedback on the roadmap

30 June 2020 - 6 October 2020: Open public consultation

30 June 2021: European Commission adopted Proposal for a Regulation on Product Safety

The Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional political agreement on the GPSR proposal on 28 November 2022.

Coreper I approved the provisional agreement on 21 December 2022 and the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) on 24 January 2023.


30 JÚN 2021
New General Product Safety Regulation - factsheet
(454.01 KB - PDF)

30 JÚN 2021
Proposal for a Regulation on general product safety
(793.13 KB - PDF)

30 JÚN 2021
Annex to the Proposal for a Regulation on general product safety
(60.58 KB - PDF)

30 JÚN 2021
Impact Assessment accompanying the Proposal for a Regulation on general product safety
(3.73 MB - PDF)

30 JÚN 2021
Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment Report accompanying the Proposal for a Regulation on general product safety
(81.83 KB - PDF)

30 JÚN 2021
Report on the implementation of Directive 2001/95/EC
(690.33 KB - PDF)

Study for the preparation of an Implementation Report of the GPSD, part 1
(2.64 MB - PDF)

1 JÚL 2021
Publication of Part 2, Country reports annexed to the GPSD implementation study
(4.65 MB - PDF)