|Author (Person)||Frost, Laurence|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.23, 7.6.01, p25|
MANUFACTURERS say they are facing business uncertainty and potentially large bills as a result of the "continuous confusion" caused by the European Commission's handling of new product safety rules.
Companies say their business could suffer as a result of the way officials are introducing the general product safety directive, which updates safety information and labelling requirements for all manufacturers.
They say firms will be confused by the measures introduced by Consumer Affairs Commissioner David Byrne, because they clash with existing laws on certain products. "Producers and manufacturers will have problems knowing which safety requirements they have to comply with," said Carlos Almaraz of European employers' association UNICE. "There will be less certainty."
The new general product safety rules give firms the responsibility for providing safety information during the whole lifetime of their products, compelling them to set up costly safety monitoring and product recall systems.
Under pressure, the Commission has agreed to come out with guidelines by the time the new rules are implemented, but business groups say that is still too late. Makers of goods such as medical devices could discover overnight that their stocks are non-compliant. "This will have cost implications," said Susan Pointer of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), "particularly if you only get guidance on the day you're supposed to comply with that guidance. There has been continuous confusion over this issue."
But Byrne's spokesman, Thorsten Muench, said the new rules were clear, containing no overlap with existing laws. "The guidelines are meant to facilitate adoption of the directive," he said, adding that they would be published "well before" implementation.
Manufacturers say they are facing business uncertainty and potentially large bills as a result of the 'continuous confusion' caused by the European Commission's handling of new product safety rules.
|Subject Categories||Business and Industry|