Consumer product quality: MEPs take aim at dual standards 

A product sold under the same brand and packaging should have the same composition across the EU, so as not to mislead consumers, MEPs will say on Thursday.

Tests and surveys done in several EU member states, mainly in Central and Eastern Europe, have proven that products advertised and sold under the same brand and seemingly identical packaging in fact differ in composition and ingredients, to the detriment of consumers.

These differences were found not only in food products, such as fish fingers, instant soup, coffee and soft drinks, but often also in non-food ones, including detergents, cosmetics, toiletries and products intended for babies.

If a firm sells a product EU-wide, but with compositions that differ between countries, it must not label and brand it in a seemingly identical way, says the draft text. If a manufacturer wants to customise a product, consumers have the right to know about the adjustment for each individual product.

MEPs recommend several measures at EU and national levels to tackle the “dual quality” problem, including swift cross-border cooperation and data-sharing, comparative tests, better enforcement and a clearer update of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, proposed by the Commission in April 2018.

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

2018/2008(INI)

Debate/vote: Thursday 13 September