4th edition – October 2020

Here’s the next edition of our monthly bite-sized digest, Productwise 3-2-1 where each month, we’ll be bringing to the top of your inbox (and your agenda):

  • 3 key takeaways from the past month
  • 2 hotbed issues you should keep your eye on
  • 1 practice tip to keep you at the top of your game

This month it’s all about Brexit and UKCA marking, sustainability, digital services, AI and library building!

3 top things from the month just gone

  • Guidance on placing manufactured goods on the market in post-Brexit Great Britain and the use of the UKCA published. As the end of the UK’s transition period out of the EU on 31 December 2020 draws closer, and with no free trade deal agreed as yet, the UK Government issued guidance on placing manufactured goods on the market in post-Brexit Great Britain and using the UKCA mark from 1 January 2021. See our blog here for a summary of the key points. The guidance can be found here and here. The Cooley Products team will be hosting a webinar to discuss all things Brexit. Stay tuned for further information that will be posted on our blog.
  • EU Sustainable Products Initiative published. The European Commission published a Roadmap setting out further detail on its Sustainable Products Initiative on 14 September 2020. The Sustainable Products Initiative is one of the measures announced in the new Circular Economy Action Plan (see our previous blog here). It aims to reduce the use of hazardous chemicals and make products placed on the EU market more sustainable, durable, reusable, repairable, recyclable and energy efficient. The Commission is currently seeking feedback on the Roadmap until 2 November 2020. A public consultation to gather input from stakeholders is due to be launched later this year, with a legislative proposal expected in Q4 2021. To find out more visit our blog here or the Commission’s webpage for this initiative here.
  • EU Digital Services Act – European Parliament Committee finalises recommendations to feed into the proposed legislation, giving an indication of what the legislation may look like. The proposed Digital Services Act package of measures (“DSA”) is expected to be tabled by the European Commission before the end of this year. The European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (“IMCO”) finalised its “legislative initiative” report on the DSA (adopting it on 28 September 2020). Once formally adopted by the European Parliament (expected in October), this report will be sent to the European Commission to feed into the proposed legislation, containing the European Parliament’s recommendations on how digital services (including online platforms and marketplaces) should be regulated. The recommendations are far reaching covering a wide range of issues: product safety online; transparency and information obligations for online marketplaces; effective enforcement and supervision measures (including fines); the spread of illegal content online; use of Artificial Intelligence; and ex-ante regulations to prevent market failures caused by big platforms. IMCO is expecting the DSA to make a huge splash and compared it to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation in terms of impact, with the EU becoming the standard-setter for the rest of the world. See IMCO’s press release here for further information.

2 to look out for

  • Is the US CPSC about to ramp up use of Artificial Intelligence in its work? A bipartisan House bill introduced on 28 August (HR 8128) directs the CPSC to establish a pilot program to explore the use of Artificial Intelligence for at least one of the following purposes: tracking trends with respect to injuries involving consumer products; identifying consumer product hazards; monitoring the retail market place (including websites) for the sale of recalled consumer products (new and used); or identifying consumer products required by section 17(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Act to be refused import into the US. A copy of the bill can be found here.
  • Artificial Intelligence: new European legislation on the way. At the State of the Union Address by European Commission President von der Leyen in September, the European Commission’s intention to legislate for Artificial Intelligence was made clear.  References to the “black box” and “clear rules” for Artificial Intelligence in the Address also suggest that the Commission will be pursuing at least some of the proposals under the European Commission’s previously-published White Paper. A copy of the transcript is available here.  See our blog here and Cooley’s webinar “EU and AI – Navigating the European Approach” here for more information about the AI White Paper and the EU’s proposed approach to regulating AI.

1 top practice tip

  • Building-up your library and tracking new developments. There are many great freely available online resources. The European Commission has dedicated webpages for key product safety and consumer law legislation where you can find links to the legislation and guidance. The Commission also has dedicated webpages for many of its new initiatives. You can also access Productwise Bitesize on our blog – a series of compact, practical, up-to-date summaries and tipsheets on the key issues for international product manufacturers put together by the Cooley Products team. Our first summary on the Goods Package (in two parts) is available here and here. In the coming weeks, we’ll be covering the New Deal for Consumers, General Product Safety Directive, Product Liability Directive, European Accessibility Act, the EU’s Green Deal proposals and more. If there is a topic you’d like us to cover, please reach out to one of the team!

Any comments or feedback, then please feel free to contact the authors, or any of your usual contacts within the team, who would love to hear from you.

Best wishes,

The Cooley Products Team


Posted by Claire Temple