This year, significant regulatory developments toward digitalization and sustainability will shape the regulatory landscape in the European Union. Among the most awaited changes are the application of the General Product Safety Regulation (GPSR) and the vote on the proposed Toy Safety Regulation (TSR), which will replace the current Directives.
New Regulation on general products applies from December 2024
Following the publication of the General Product Safety Regulation (GPSR) in May 2023, the GPSR entered into force in June 2023 and applies from 13 December 2024. The GPSR is the default legislation covering non-food products for which no specific product regulation exists. Compared to the GPSD, the Regulation includes more stringent requirements on market surveillance, online sales, and AI technologies. To enforce these new requirements, manufacturers will have to have a Responsible Person based in the Union market, and comply with the product information provisions to enable more effective traceability and product recall in case of hazards. Interestingly, manufacturers will have to comply with extra requirements if they sell their products online. Among other things, the extra provisions aim to properly inform consumers about the products offered in online marketplaces and safeguard consumer rights.
Text of the new Regulation on toys under negotiations
In July 2023, the Commission published the Toys Safety Regulation Proposal. After evaluating the current regulatory framework for toys and related risks posed by certain gaps in the Directive, the Commission considered the necessity to replace the current Toy Safety Directive with a new legislation. Some of the major shortcomings identified in the evaluation concern the protection of children’s health from hazardous chemicals that can be persistent and bio-accumulative, can cause cancers, gene mutations, or affect the reproductive or endocrine system (CMRs). In addition to an extended ban on such substances, the Toys Regulation brings new provisions to enhance market surveillance and product traceability, similar to the GPSR.
One of the main news brought by the TSR is the introduction of a digital product passport. The digital product passport provides consumers with information on how to repair or recycle the product. For competent authorities, the digital product passport is an important means to trace goods within the supply chain, verify their conformity, and track economic operators.
In February 2024, the Parliament should vote on the report on the proposed Regulation, while the indicative plenary sitting date is 11 March 2024.
Further changes awaited this year
In 2023, the European Union achieved some of the most important regulatory milestones for the AI industry worldwide. With the agreement between the Council of the EU and the European Parliament on the Artificial Intelligence Act, the EU has the first comprehensive Regulation on AI in the world. The publication of the final text is expected soon over the very next months.
From the UK front, the government might extend the indefinite recognition of the EU conformity assessments, including CE marking, for different products.
Are you prepared for the new Regulations? Contact us to know more about what actions you need to take to stay compliant in the EU and UK markets.
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