RAPEX System 2020 Report
The rapid alert system (RAPEX) for dangerous non-food products enables national authorities to quickly exchange information about dangerous products. The European Union Safety Gate European RAPEX 2020 annual report was published in March this year. It lists the alerts and follow-up actions taken, per country, product category and risk notified.

RAPEX NETWORK

Based on the General Product Safety Directive (Directive 2001/95/EC – GPSD), there is a rapid alert system (RAPEX) for dangerous non-food products in the European Union (EU) since 2005. Through this system, national authorities (responsible for product safety) are able to send alerts to the European Commission, reporting the measures taken against products posing a risk. Companies and consumers may report dangerous products to the national authorities, through the Product Safety Business Alert Gateway.

Every week, the RAPEX system publishes notifications of urgent measures taken by EU Member-States to prevent, restrict or impose conditions on the marketing of products due to the serious and immediate danger they pose to the health and safety of consumers.

March this year, EU’s Safety Gate European RAPEX 2020 annual report was published.

2020 RAPEX REPORT

In 2020, there were 2,253 alerts received in the system on measures taken against dangerous products. There were 5,377 follow-up actions taken by other members in response to alerts concerning dangerous products.

In the EU, the three most common product categories notified were toys (27%), motor vehicles (21%) and electrical appliances and equipment (10%). The three most common risks notified were injuries (25%), chemical (18%) and choking (12%).

In Ireland, Czech Republic, Greece, Spain, Austria and Sweden, cosmetics were among these 3 most common product categories notified, representing 42%, 20%, 4%, 43%, 15% and 10%, respectively. Overall, in the EU there were a total of 86 alerts related with cosmetics, 16 were notified by Germany and 11 by the Czech Republic, representing the two countries with more alert notifications. 67 notifications were related with chemical risks, 12 with microbiological risk, 9 related with other health risks and one with choking. Many cosmetics notified came originally from countries outside the EU, like China (14 alerts) and Pakistan (12 alerts).

In total there were 263 follow-ups on cosmetics, 236 related with chemical risk. Lithuania represented the country with more follow-ups (37), followed by Poland (25) and Bulgaria (24).

For example, in Czech Republic, 20% alerts on cosmetics amounted to 11 notifications. One of the main reasons for notification was the detection of substances with demonstrable allergenic potential which were not included in the ingredients list.

COVID-19 PANDEMIC RELATED PRODUCTS AND ONLINE PRODUCTS

In 2020, the Safety Gate also reflected on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to COVID-19, more products (e.g. masks, hand disinfectants) became available to consumers and and regularly included in their shopping list. Some of these products did not meet the EU health and safety requirements, giving a false sense of protection to consumers. Masks, UV sterilizers, coveralls and hand sanitizers represented the highest number of alerts reported by the national authorities.

In order to support national authorities, the European Commission launched a coordinated activity with national authorities to tackle dangerous COVID-19 related products. Its objectives are to organize market surveillance activities on COVID-19 related dangerous products, find common evaluation practices for these products and the right communication tools to inform consumers. The results will be published by the Commission in 2021 on the Safety Gate website.

Alerts on products sold online were significantly higher (26%) when compared with the previous year (16%). This represents a big concern, mainly because checking and testing these products can be difficult, especially if the seller is located in a third country.

In 2021, the EU will continue working with the national authorities to improve product safety, particularly focusing in three areas of concern: COVID-19, online and recalls. On the other hand, the GPSD revision will continue with the aim of guaranteeing product safety in the future.

The EU Product Safety Award, which “rewards businesses that go the extra mile to protect consumers”, will have two award categories this year: protecting the safety of vulnerable consumer groups and combining safety and new technologies.

References:

  1. Safety Gate – 2020 results. Available from: https://www.dvsi.de/images/Safety_Gate_2020_Results.pdf
  2. EU Rapid Alert System factsheets 2020. Available from: https://ec.europa.eu/safety/consumers/consumers_safety_gate/statisticsAndAnualReports/2020/RAPEX_2020_Factsheet_EN.pdf
  3. Safety Gate: the EU rapid alert system for dangerous non-food products. Product Safety Award. Available from: https://ec.europa.eu/safety-gate/#/screen/pages/safetyAward

further
reading

cosmetic products

Creating a “Zero Waste” Cosmetic Industry. Is it possible?

Climate changes, pollution, waste management, recycling are some of the terms we see frequently on the news and tabloids. Consumers are concerned with the planet and are demanding more innovative and sustainability ideas (“eco-friendly”). Cosmetic and personal care products have been the target of some criticism by its users. Both the cosmetic industry and governments are starting to adapt and take action with the ultimate goal of reducing plastic waste. New ingredient and packaging alternatives are being developed and more sustainable products are starting to appear on the market.

Read More »
cosmetic products

Cannabis-Derived Ingredients in Cosmetic Products

Cannabis-derived ingredients are popular and interesting compounds. There is specific EU and national legislation regarding cannabis-derived ingredients, identifying which extracts and derivatives may be used in cosmetic products. There are several aspects to consider to ensure compliance when adding these compounds to your cosmetics and personal care products.

Read More »
cosmetic products

Cosmetic Claims in the European Union

Claims are an important part of a cosmetic and represent a powerful and essential tool of marketing. It is crucial to know which claims are allowed in cosmetic products in the EU and also how can they be substantiated.

Read More »
cosmetic products

Cosmetic companies obligations under REACH Regulation

REACH is a regulation of the European Union (EU) that stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. All chemical substances manufactured and market in the EU, whether used in our daily lives (e.g. clothes, cleaning products, cosmetics) or industrial processes, are regulated by REACH.

Read More »
cosmetic products

May Butylphenyl Methylpropional be used in my Cosmetic Products?

Butylphenyl Methylpropional, also known as Lilial, is a fragrance ingredient that has been used for years in several cosmetic and non-cosmetic products. Nevertheless, some concerns have been expressed regarding the use of this ingredient and its risk to consumers. The use of Butylphenyl Methylpropional shall be prohibited in cosmetic products from 1st March 2022.

Read More »
cosmetic products

RAPEX System 2020 Report

The rapid alert system (RAPEX) for dangerous non-food products enables national authorities to quickly exchange information about dangerous products. The European Union Safety Gate European RAPEX 2020 annual report was published in March this year. It lists the alerts and follow-up actions taken, per country, product category and risk notified.

Read More »
cosmetic products

Silica – a nanomaterial?

Notification of a cosmetic product containing nano-form ingredients can be complex and involves more costs for the company (cosmetic product owner). The best way to simplify the notification process is to make sure that the Silica and related ingredients used do not fall to the nanomaterial category.

Read More »
cosmetic products

Screening Assessment of Talc by Health Canada

In Canada, Talc was identified as a priority substance for assessment, so the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health performed a screening assessment of this compound. Regarding inhalation and perineal exposure, Talc may constitute a potential danger to human life or health.

Read More »
cosmetic products

New Revision of the SCCS Notes of Guidance

The SCCS has issued a new revision of its notes of guidance for the testing of cosmetic ingredients and their safety evaluation. This 11th revision was adopted at its plenary meeting on 30-31 March this year, and it updates the 10th revision that was published in 2018.

Read More »
cosmetic products

Is Propylparaben still considered Safe by the SCCS?

Propylparaben has been assessed several times by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS). Last year there was a request for scientific opinion concerning the evaluation of a list of ingredients, including Propylparaben. On March, this year (2021), the SCCS issued the requested opinion on this ingredient.

Read More »
cosmetic products

China – the end of Animal Testing Requirements for Cosmetics?

Animal testing of cosmetics is already prohibited in the European Union for several years but, until now, it was mandatory to perform animal testing when making available a cosmetic product in the Chinese market. From 1st May (2021), animal testing will no longer be a requirement for ‘general’ cosmetics imported to China.

Read More »