Switzerland

The Product Safety Act 

Consumer safety is a hot topic for manufacturers of consumer goods. Cases of safety deficiencies that lead to large-scale product recalls occur time and again. According to EU statistics, the majority of recalls concern children's toys, electrical devices and vehicles. The Federal Act on product safety (Product Safety Act, PSA) including the Product Safety Regulation (PSR) came into force on 1 July, 2010. It is based on a complete review of the Federal Act on the Safety of Technical Facilities and Appliances.
Cover The Product Safety Act

By harmonising with EU directives (2001/95/EC) the new legislation has created the preconditions necessary for Switzerland to participate in the EU's early warning system for hazardous consumer goods (RAPEX, Rapid Alert System for non-food consumer products). The Product Safety Act and its implementing regulation contain detailed directives on bringing products into circulation and on post-market obligations. The new legislation concerns all products that address or can be used by end consumers.

 

It also includes transitory provisions that will remain in force until 31.12.2011. This is also the date by which new post-market obligations must be fulfilled at the latest.

 

The consequence for manufacturers and importers of consumer goods is that they no longer need to differentiate between products manufactured for distribution in Switzerland and products manufactured for distribution in the EU. However, in addition to this relaxation the legislation also poses a range of new questions that need to be addressed sooner rather than later:

 

  • How can product safety be monitored?
  • What hazard prevention measures need to be implemented?
  • What needs to be done in the concrete event of a hazard?
  • How can extended post-market obligations be adequately met?