The general safety of products placed on the market is guaranteed by European Community legislation which is EEA relevant, and ensures a consistent, high level of protection for the health and safety of consumers. Additional legislation supports product safety in specific sectors and products (for example toy safety) as well as the requirements for market surveillance relating to the marketing of products.
A safe product is one which poses no threat or only a reduced threat in accordance with the nature of its use and which is acceptable in view of maintaining a high level of protection for the health and safety of persons.
The function of the EU's single-market programme is reliant on the vigilance of manufacturers in ensuring that products meet essential health and safety requirements, and on the product monitoring performed by national authorities once the products are on the market. This monitoring, called market surveillance, is critical for maintaining consumer and business confidence in the present conformity assessment system.
The EFTA Working Group on Product Safety and Market Surveillance meets two or three times a year and examines issues dealing with product safety and related market surveillance issues. The sectors involved include the safety of toys and developments supporting effective market surveillance on a national and international level.
Product safety issues and toys are covered by Annex II, Chapters XIX and XXIII of the EEA Agreement.
See also DG SANCO and DG ENTR.