The European Commission published its adjusted Work Programme for 2020, following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Product safety and consumer law initiatives remain very much on the Commission’s agenda. However, some timelines have been extended and stakeholders will be given additional time to contribute to consultations to help shape future policy and law in these areas.
RED Talk: EU consulting on proposed laws to deal with software that alters the safety or compliance of connected devices
The European Commission is holding a targeted consultation on proposed new laws to deal with software that alters the safety or compliance of connected devices. The consultation closes on 22 May 2020.
The European Commission adopted a new Circular Economy Action Plan that will have wide-ranging implications on how products are designed, marketed and used in the EU.
A New Deal for Consumers: a lot to think about for businesses – changes to EU consumer protection rules will come into force in 2022
Edward Turtle and Tracey Bischofberger
New laws to strengthen consumer protection have come into force and will apply across the EU from 28 May 2022. There is a focus on more transparency online, extending rights to “free” digital services and strong sanctions linked to annual turnover.
The European Commission is currently holding a public consultation as part of its evaluation of Directive 2011/65/EU on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. This is an important opportunity for stakeholders to have their say.
This is not a class action: proposed directive to introduce group actions across the EU gaining momentum
Jamie Humphreys and Tracey Bischofberger
The EU has been pushing ahead with proposed new legislation to introduce representative actions across the EU. The proposed new EU-wide rules will apply to infringements of a broad range of EU laws that harm the collective interests of consumers including in the areas of consumer rights, data protection, product liability and product safety.
Legislation setting out new EU-wide rules on reparability, availability of spare parts and access to repair and maintenance information for certain appliances (such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and washer-dryers) has been adopted and will apply from 2021. These measures have implications for manufacturers, importers and authorised representatives of affected products placed on the EU market. There have also been calls to extend these requirements to other durable non-energy related consumer products. Manufacturers of products not affected by these new laws need to keep an eye on developments in this area.
A new single safety standard IEC 62368 is coming into force that will replace existing safety standards for ICT and AV equipment. This will have important implications for many product manufacturers and importers. Businesses need to start thinking about this and making preparations now.
The European Commission has been working on a range of measures to strengthen cybersecurity of consumer IoT products, and has just launched a public consultation. This provides an important opportunity to make a contribution to the future direction of regulation in this area in the EU. At the same time, the UK is actively considering the future of regulation in this area, with its public consultation having recently been completed. More details below.