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Parliamentary questions
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3 December 2015
E-013116/2015(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Jourová on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-013116/2015

In the absence of specific EU legislation, hygiene products like tampons are covered by the General Product Safety Directive (2001/95/EC)(1). That directive obliges producers to place only safe products on the market (Article 3(1)).

The directive does not oblige producers to disclose the list of product components or ingredients. However, producers shall provide consumers with the relevant information to enable them to assess the risks that are inherent in a product through adequate warnings (Article 5).

There are currently no European standards on tampons. Unless there are specific rules of national law of the Member State in whose territory the product is marketed (Article 3 (2)(1) of the directive) according to which a product would be deemed to be safe, Article 3(3)(d) of the directive provides that, in the absence of applicable European standards or standards at national level, codes of good practice in force in the sector concerned shall be taken into account to assess the safety of a product.

In 2012 the Commission informed the Member States' authorities responsible for consumer product safety about the availability of a Code of practice(2) which goes back to an initiative of the tampons manufacturing industry (International Association serving the nonwovens and related industries EDANA) to standardise relevant consumer information in EU countries. Among others, the Code lays down that producers provide consumers with standardised health related information (e.g. menstrual toxic shock syndrome).

The Commission is currently not considering further regulatory measures regarding tampons.

(1)OJ L 11, 15.1.2002, p. 4.
(2)http://www.edana.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/tampons-code-of-practice-(english).pdf

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