Last year, nearly 2,200 dangerous products were reported to the Safety Gate system from European markets, according to the European Commission. Safety Gate aims to transmit information about dangerous products found on EU markets so that they can be effectively removed. In Finland, 79 notifications were made, which included toys, clothing, personal protective equipment, and electrical appliances. The most common risks found in the notifications were chemical risk, the risk of choking on small parts, electric shock, and external injuries.
All market surveillance authorities in Europe have a legal obligation to report to the Safety Gate system any products they find that pose a serious risk, as well as any measures taken to remove the risk. Other member states can then check whether the same product is available on their markets and take any necessary action. This active cooperation between authorities can significantly increase the effectiveness of market surveillance, as information about dangerous products can be traced throughout Europe rather than being confined to one country.
The Safety Gate system is coordinated by Turvallisuus- ja kemikaalivirasto (Tukes), the Finnish Safety Gate contact point, which also participates in EU-level cooperation. In Finland, market surveillance authorities and Customs made a total of 79 notifications to the Safety Gate system last year, with toys being the most common category (24), followed by clothing and accessories (9), and personal protective equipment (8). Finland also reported dangerous electrical appliances (7), various decorative items such as candles (6), jewelry (5), machines (5), pleasure boats (3), and hand tools (3). There were also individual notifications of sports equipment, cosmetics, gas appliances, and childcare items.
Notifications are made based on individual market surveillance cases and the results of surveillance projects. The majority of notifications made by Finland were made by Tukes and Customs. Tukes made notifications based on the results of its market surveillance projects, including reflectors, power tools, and Christmas toys. The most common risk found in Customs' notifications was chemical risk, including phthalates, which are restricted or completely prohibited plasticizers found in different product categories such as toys, accessories, footwear, and hand tools.
Through the Safety Gate system, the European Commission is able to collect information about dangerous products, which can then be used to develop risk assessments and take appropriate action, such as removing dangerous products from the market or improving product safety standards. Consumers can also check the Safety Gate website to see whether any products they have purchased have been reported as dangerous. Overall, the Safety Gate system plays an important role in ensuring the safety of products sold in the EU and protecting consumers from harm.
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