Dangerous products

The right to demand and receive products that are safe for life, health, and property is one of the consumers' fundamental rights. Product safety is one of the top priorities across the European Union (EU). The large EU internal market drives particular attention to product safety. Due to the free movement of goods, there is a possibility that a dangerous product on sale in one country can quickly move to the other Member States.

This is why the EU has a rapid alert system, RAPEX. This system allows supervisory authorities to exchange information on dangerous goods to be withdrawn from the market in the Member States as quickly as possible.

You, too, can check the dangerous products included in RAPEX by checking the weekly overview or by using the search for products of interest to you.

To avoid dangerous products,

  • read the labeling and instructions carefully before buying and using the product;
  • follow all the instructions given by the manufacturer when using the product, e.g., safety signs and warnings on the packaging of chemicals, instructions for household appliances, warnings on toys;
  • always use a helmet and other protective equipment when riding a bicycle or roller skates, or when playing other sports that require the use of personal protective equipment;
  • Ensure that certain products (e.g., toys, household appliances, electrical household appliances or tools, and personal protective equipment such as reflectors and sunglasses) carry the CE marking, a guarantee from the manufacturer or importer that the product meets all essential health and safety requirements.

The products that manufacturers are required to CE mark are defined in the relevant legislation. It is prohibited to place on the market and sell products that must bear the CE marking without such marking.

In case of a dangerous product on the market,

  • the trader who sold it must recall it from consumers and withdraw it from the market;
  • be aware that information about hazardous products can be passed on to you as a consumer by the manufacturer, distributor, or trader in several ways, by contacting you directly (e.g., through a customer database) or, if it cannot be established that it was you who bought the dangerous product, by informing you of the risk through the media, as well as on the manufacturer's website and in stores.
  • Be sure to contact the manufacturer or the seller to have the product recalled from the market because of the risk returned to the store;
  • do not simply throw away a product that has been declared unsafe, as this could lead to it falling into the hands of others who are not aware of the product's danger;
  • if the product is recalled, the manufacturer or distributor must also reimburse you for the product's sales price or, if the risk can be eliminated, for example, by replacing the dangerous part, carrying out the operation, or providing instructions for replacing the part. You may also be offered a replacement of the hazardous product with an equivalent product (of the same functionality and value).

More information

See videos created by the European Commission on the safety of products and the risks they can pose:

Last updated: 06.04.2021