Authorities to Inspect Products Sold Online

Feb 14, 2020 Digital & Product Solutions

EU inspection authorities in charge of enforcing chemicals legislation have announced the launch of an extensive inspection project focusing on products sold by online shops and sellers on trading platforms such as eBay and Amazon. DEKRA experts are advising all online vendors to check their product information, labeling and compliance with limits for hazardous substances.

The authorities will check compliance with labeling requirements for hazardous substances such as cleaning agents, adhesives and other chemical products. They also plan to perform checks to ensure that products such as toys and textiles comply with hazardous substance limits. This is in response to a pilot project in 2017, which found that 82% of products did not comply with the CLP Regulation.
The latest inspections will focus on three areas. First, chemical products such as cleaning agents and adhesives that are sold online will be checked to ensure that they are correctly labeled in accordance with Article 48 of the CLP Regulation. It is essential that consumers can see the hazardous substance label in its entirety (pictogram, signal word and hazard statements) before they decide whether to purchase the item.
Second, the inspection authorities will check that the products comply with the hazardous substance limits set out in REACH Annex XVII. This relates, for example, to limits for azo dyes in textiles and phthalate plasticizers in toys and baby products. To investigate this, the authorities will purchase the products in question and subject them to laboratory testing.
Third, online biocidal products such as disinfectants will also be checked to ensure that they comply with the requirements of the EU Biocidal Products Regulation. The authorities will sanction any infringements discovered in the course of this inspection project on the basis of national legislation. Infringements of labeling requirements may incur a fine, while infringements of hazardous substance limits may even result in criminal proceedings.
DEKRA expert Jochen Dettke has the following advice: “Vendors with online shops and sellers on online platforms such as eBay and Amazon need to check as a matter of urgency whether their products come with the required information. If not, they should correct this as quickly as possible.”