General Product Safety

Introduction to the General Product Safety on the EU Market

General Product Safety Directive is the applicable law for the compliance of products which are not more specifically regulated by any other EU legislation.

Examples of products falling under the GPSD include:

  • Low Voltage products falling below 50 V
  • Candles
  • Hair & beauty accessories, brushes and mirrors
  • Jewellery
  • Household goods
  • General consumer goods

EU General Product Safety Legislation

Until the publication of the General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC on December 3, 2001 and the subsequent 3-year transition period, the General Product Safety Directive 92/59/CEE was the reigning legal framework for general product safety products.

On the 15th of January, 2004, the General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC became fully applicable in the EU as the only legal framework for general consumer products.


Key Facts

  • Any product made available on the EU market (either via e-commerce or in physical stores) must comply with the essential safety requirements set out by the Directive 2001/95/EC.
  • Non-EU manufacturers wishing to place their products on the EU market should appoint a professional Authorized Representative.
  • Producer is defined in Artilcle 2 (E) as:
the manufacturer of the product, (...) and any other person presenting himself as the manufacturer by affixing to the product his name, trade mark or other distinctive mark, or the person who reconditions the product
  • CE Marking is not applicable for products falling under the GPSD - improper application of the CE Marking will serve as a red flag for the Competent Authorities in the process of their surveillance activities
  • Intervention of a Notified Body is not required for any conformity assessment procedures described in this Directive
  • Products which fail to comply with the essential general safety requirements may be subject to fines, publication on RAPEX, recall of the products off the EU market and total destruction of the products  
  • Each EU Member State may pose additional national requirements for the compliance of certain GPSD products

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