What does the new General Product Safety Regulation (GPSR) mean for importers from Asia?

Ready for the GPSR: Essential information for importers

The European Union (EU) is introducing an important update to the regulations surrounding product safety: the General Product Safety Regulation (GPSR). These new regulations, which replace the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD), will come into force with far-reaching implications for importers, especially those trading with countries such as Asia. In this guide we delve into the core of the GPSR and explain how you as an importer can adapt your business operations to meet the new requirements.

Important changes under the General Product Safety Regulation (GPSR)

With the introduction of the GPSR there will be more focus on online sales and product traceability. It ensures that products offered on the EU market must meet strict safety standards. Some crucial changes are:

  • Increased responsibility for online platforms: Major marketplaces such as Amazon, Ebay or Bol.com, and international players such as Temu, Shein, and AliExpress are seeing an increase in responsibilities.
  • Strict requirements for product traceability: All products must be clearly traceable, with the person ultimately responsible stated on the product or packaging.
  • Requirements for representation within the EU: Providers from outside the EU must have an authorised representative (also known as 'EU Responsible Person') within the EU for better enforcement of the rules.
  • More efficient recalls and improved coordination: Faster recalls and clearer requirements for technical documentation are also part of the new regulations.

The GPSR came into effect on June 12, 2023, with a transition period until December 13, 2024. After that, the GPSR will be final.

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Compliance and risk management

To comply with the GPSR, it is essential for importers to strengthen their due diligence processes. This implies:

  • Continuously updating risk assessments.
  • Ensuring supplier compliance.
  • Setting up reliable quality controls.

Impact on importers within and outside the EU

EU importers importing products must ensure comprehensive technical documentation and traceability of their products. Non-EU importers, such as those from the US, UK, and China, must also comply with the GPSR, including appointing an EU authorised representative. Westwood can assist non-EU importers as an authorised representative.

Action plan for importers

  1. Conduct a thorough risk analysis: Take a critical look at your current products and suppliers and look for and document potential product safety risks.
  2. Work with sourcing agents: Look for experts with knowledge of the GPSR.
  3. Ensure complete product documentation: Essential for compliance.
  4. Implement traceability systems: Always be aware of where your products are so you can recall them if necessary.
  5. Train your staff: Knowledge of GPSR requirements is very important.

Conclusion

The GPSR marks a significant change in the approach to product safety within the EU. For importers, this means a need to proactively adapt processes and supply chain management. With the right preparation and understanding of the new rules, you can not only ensure compliance but also strengthen your commitment to product safety and consumer protection.

Do you need help adjusting to the new GPSR?

 Contact our specialists for expert advice and support. Make sure you are fully prepared for the new General Product Safety Regulation (GPSR).

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