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General product safety regulation

Briefing 30-08-2022

The European Parliament and the Council have adopted their mandates for interinstitutional negotiations on the proposal for a general product safety regulation. These are expected to start in mid-September 2022. The proposed regulation would replace the current General Product Safety Directive. It seeks to address the product safety challenges of emerging technologies, including use of artificial intelligence (AI) and connected devices, and to establish clear obligations for online marketplaces, ...

The original full study examines how new technologies and digital solutions can help improve consumers’ awareness, while also guaranteeing a better safety of products placed on the Single Market. The study formulates recommendations that provide a framework for a better alignment of existing legislation on product safety and digital services, as well as the European Community sustainability objectives.

The current Machinery Directive (Directive 2006/42/EC) was designed to allow the free movement of machinery within the internal market, while ensuring a high level of protection of health and safety of users. To reduce the occurrence of accidents, it promotes inherently safe design and construction of machinery, and proper installation and maintenance. On 21 April 2021, the Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation on machinery products, part of a wider 'artificial intelligence package'. ...

The General Product Safety Directive is a cornerstone of the EU product safety legislative framework. Issues and emerging trends have however impacted the effectiveness of the current Directive. This study examines how new technologies and digital solutions can help improve consumers’ awareness, while also guaranteeing a better safety of the products placed on the Single Market. The study formulates recommendations that provide a framework for the better alignment of existing legislation on product ...

Batteries are critical to the EU's clean energy transition. In December 2020, the European Commission tabled a proposal to modernise the regulatory framework for batteries and secure the sustainability and competitiveness of EU battery value chains. The proposed new rules cover batteries' full lifecycle, from design to disposal. During its March I plenary session, Parliament is expected to debate and vote on the report on the proposal adopted by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and ...

The 2009 Toy Safety Directive has been protecting children in the EU for more than 10 years, imposing some of the world's strictest requirements on toys, in particular concerning hazardous chemicals. As the European Commission prepares to update the directive, the European Parliament's Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection has examined the directive's implementation and proposed ways to amend it. Parliament is expected to vote on the committee's own initiative report during its ...

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the impact assessment (IA) accompanying the Commission proposal for a regulation on general product safety aimed at ensuring that EU consumers are protected from dangerous non-food products. The IA defines clearly the problems to be addressed and their analysis appears to be satisfactory but the description of how they would evolve without any EU intervention is limited. The IA does not compare the retained options in terms ...

Nanoparticles lie at the heart of a new method for delivering medicines inside the body – and they were crucial to the success of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines. This new drug delivery method and others could transform the way we treat disease, potentially boosting the treatment of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and HIV, among others. Insulin and Covid-19 vaccines might even become available as pills. Can the European Union stay on top of this trend? And what challenges lie ahead?

The Machinery Directive establishes a regulatory framework for mechanical engineering industry products. It regulates the harmonisation of essential health and safety requirements for machinery in order to ensure the free movement of machinery products within the internal market on the one hand, and a high level of protection for machinery users on the other. The European Commission's Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) evaluation of 2018 concluded that the directive has generally ...

Revising the Machinery Directive

Briefing 02-07-2021

This briefing checks the quality of the Commission impact assessment (IA) accompanying the regulation proposal on machinery products. It finds that the assessment, which is based on various data sources, is mostly qualitative, and explains openly the analytical methods and data limitations. Furthermore, the scale of all problems and the efficiency aspect in the comparison of the options could have been further explained. The briefing also stresses that the IA could have been more informative in terms ...