Eurosmart answers consultation on the General Product Safety Directive

Eurosmart answers consultation on the General Product Safety Directive

The European Commission recently organised a consultation on the “New Consumer Agenda” with a section dedicated to the revision of the General Product Safety Directive.  The General Product Safety Directive is a cross-sectoral legislation that lays down safety requirements for non-food consumer products -to the extent that there are no specific provisions with the same safety objective in other EU legislation.

Eurosmart answered the consultation to indicate that the revision of EU safety rules should take into account the development of new technologies such as AI and IoT. It should also consider evolving from conformity assessments related to the day of go-to-market to a life-time approach related to devices and services.

Eurosmart believes that the definition of a product should encompass software, including when it has been downloaded after the device has been sold, because malfunctioning software can lead to significant damage.

Moreover, cybersecurity and privacy should be part of the minimum safety requirements. Compliance with these requirements should be based on European standards, such as ETSI’s standard EN 303 645 on cybersecurity for consumer IoT, and standards developed by CEN-CENELEC JTC 13.  In addition, compliance could be demonstrated through certification at an adequate level (basic, substantial, high pursuant to the Cybersecurity act), based on a risk assessment.

Security requirements should also apply to update features. For products that could be modified either via software updates/downloads or machine learning, it is crucial to repeat conformity assessments over the lifetime of products to ensure that updates do not affect safety.