Vol. 1358 | 07 Jun 2023

The European Commission has approved the new General Product Safety Regulation (EU) 2023/988. The purpose of this regulation is to provide a high level of consumer protection and lay down essential rules on the safety of consumer products.

Only safe products are allowed to be placed or made available on the market. The following aspects are considered to determine whether the product is safe or not:

  • the characteristics and functions of the product
  • the effect on other products
  • the effect that other products might have on the accessed product
  • the labelling of the product, including age grading for children, warnings and instructions for use and disposal
  • the consumers categories
  • the appearance of the product, especially the following cases:
    • if a non-foodstuff product is likely to be confused with foodstuff due to its form, odour, colour, appearance, packaging, labelling, volume, size or other characteristics and might therefore be placed in the mouth, sucked or ingested by consumer (especially by children)
    • a product not intended for use by children is likely to be used by children due to its appearance
  • the cybersecurity features if necessary

A product is presumed to be in conformity with the safety requirements when:

  • the product conforms to relevant European harmonized standards; or
  • the product conforms to national requirements if there is no relevant European harmonized standard

The regulations also set up the obligations for manufacturers, authorized representatives, importers, distributors and the economic operators of distance sales (e.g., online marketplace).

Products complying with this regulation need supporting technical documentation, to be kept for 10 years.

The obligations of the online marketplaces related to product safety are newly added, which shall also ensure the products on the online marketplace are safe and comply with the general product safety regulation.

The product shall contain product identification, economic operator’s name or trademark, the postal and electronic address, instruction for use, and safety information.

The regulation will be effective on 13 December 2024. The previous General Product Safety Directive (Directive 2001/95/EC) will be repealed accordingly. Products that comply with the previous General Product Safety Directive (Directive 2001/95/EC) can be placed on the market until 13 December 2024.

For further information, please contact our technical expert Carl Tso (carl.tso@intertek.com).


Subscribe to Insight