Consumers must be better protected against cheap items from abroad that are dangerous or unhealthy. Minister Micky Adriaansens (Economic Affairs and Climate) therefore announces strict rules: “You cannot go far enough to get unsafe products off the market and protect consumers.”
At the moment, the Dutch still buy all kinds of cheap stuff in Asian webshops. Intermediaries also benefit from this. But many of the products are dangerous or unhealthy, the Consumers Association already several times.
This concerns, for example, smoke detectors that do not go off, toys that break off dangerous pieces or tooth whitener with too much hydrogen peroxide. Several electronic devices also exploded.
When the new rules come into effect, there must be a manufacturer or person established in the European Union for each product who is responsible for the safety of the product. If that is not the case, sales in the Netherlands and in Europe may not take place.
If a product has been deemed unsafe by the regulator, all online webshops in the EU must remove identical items from the store. This applies to items in physical stores and online.
Law must prevent unfair competition
With the new legislation, the minister wants to combat unfair competition. “That is good for Dutch entrepreneurs who do comply with the safety rules for products,” says Adriaansens.
Consumers should also be able to contact the point of sale more easily if something goes wrong. The selling party will have to meet the consumer better in the future if the purchase turns out to be unsatisfactory, for example by refunding the purchase price.
From 13 December, the law will apply in the Netherlands and in the rest of the European Union.