The general safety of products placed on the market is guaranteed by EU legislation which is EEA-relevant. This legislation 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 Expert Group on Product Safety, Market Surveillance and Product Liability meets two or three times a year and examines issues dealing with product safety and related market surveillance issues. It also deals with safety developments in the toys sector.
Product safety issues and toys are covered by Annex II, Chapters XIX and XXIII of the EEA Agreement.
DG Justice and Consumers (DG JUST) - Consumer Safety
DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROWTH) - Market Surveillance