The European Parliament’s position on the Digital Services Act (DSA) adopted in Plenary this week fails to bring the much-needed improvements and fails to protect European consumers against illegal and often dangerous toys.
Third-party sellers using online intermediaries can therefore continue to be active on the EU market without complying with the same standards and safety rules as reputable toy manufacturers. Counterfeit or unsafe toys will continue to reach European consumers while reputable toy businesses will suffer from unfair competition.
It is a shame that the “Know Your Business Customer” (KYBC) obligation for all online platforms was rejected but comforting to see this happened by only a small majority. This means that many Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) see the importance of tracing online vendors such as sellers of dangerous toys no matter what channel they use. Several Member States have also called for wider KYBC obligations.
As recognised by the Council, toy manufacturers are the best placed to identify illegal copies of their products. It is a pity the Parliament’s text prevents them from obtaining the status of ‘trusted flagger’ which would allow them to play an essential role in ensuring customer protection.
TIE calls on the Council, Commission and Parliament to bring the necessary improvements to the DSA during the upcoming trilogue negotiations.
It is also clear that the DSA will not address legal loopholes when sellers are based outside the EU and nobody in the EU can be held accountable for the safety of a toy. TIE counts on MEPs to use the General Product Safety Regulation to fix these loopholes.
Catherine Van Reeth, TIE’s Director General, said, “It is very disappointing that the European Parliament has not made the DSA a robust tool to protect consumers against illegal toys from dishonest sellers. This does not deliver on the promise that what is illegal offline should be illegal online. TIE will continue to fight for the application of EU’s strict product safety requirements to all products including those sold online.”
- TIE Recommendations: ‘The Digital Services Act can make shopping online safer and fairer for everyone’
- Joint letter: ‘DSA’s “Trusted Flaggers” provisions must reinforce the standards that exist today’
- ‘Joint call by business, consumer and civil society organisations on the Digital Services Act (DSA): Effective and unambiguous rules are needed to tackle illegal activities and rogue traders’