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National Surveillance Authorities

How is product compliance monitored?

Member States of the European Union have appointed national authorities who are primarily responsible for market surveillance (surveillance authorities). These are effectively 'product police' and work closely with customs who also play a large part in protecting consumers against dangerous imported goods. Their sole purpose is to ensure products available on the market are safe, meet essential safety legislation and to ensure manufacturers are adhering to the rules. Where necessary, sanctions are placed on businesses and supply chains.

If a toy product is found to be unsafe within the EU market, the surveillance authorities have the power to request removal of such products and all member states are notified by means of a RAPEX system - which is a rapid alert system that enables a quick exchange of information between 31 European countries and the European Commission about dangerous non-food products posing a risk to health and safety of consumers. Details are submitted by national surveillance authorities. The cooperation tool also enables rapid communication between the EU, EEA authorities about dangerous products enabling trace over the European Market. China and international institutions are also involved.