General regulations: law on the safety of products and services
To protect consumer safety, general regulations always stipulate that only safe products and services can be placed on the market.
The economic code on the safety of products and services defines the general safety requirements that products and services must meet.
This means that when you put a product or service on the market, it cannot pose any risk under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use. The producer and/or distributor are/is responsible for the consequences of any faults in the product or service
The economic code on the safety of products and services transposes the European Directive 2001/95/EC of 3 December 2001 on general product safety.
This law sets out all requirements for all general safety aspects. It is a general law regarding the safety of products and services. More specific regulations supplement these general safety requirements for certain product groups. Certain products may be covered by several different regulations and must therefore meet all requirements of these different regulations.
For each of these products or services, you will find below a link to the specific regulations on this website.
Products that do not fall within the scope of these regulations:
- animal feed;
- pharmaceutical products;
- chemical substances and preparations;
- phytopharmaceutical products;
The producer (manufacturer, manufacturer’s representative, importer etc.) must fulfil the following obligations:
- to only put on the market safe products and services;
- to inform the consumer about the risks of a product or service by affixing the necessary usage instructions and warnings;
- to indicate their name and contact information and the product reference number (or lot number to which it belongs) on their products or packaging;
- to take steps to stay up to date with the risks of the products and services supplied and to take action to prevent these risks;
- to immediately inform the central contact point if they know that a product or service they have placed on the market poses a risk to consumers;
- to cooperate with the authorities in taking action to prevent the risks associated with the products they provide.
You will find more information on these obligations in the document “Questions and answers - economic code (PDF, 84.16 Kb)". [not available in English]
As soon as they are aware that a product or service they have placed on the market poses a risk to consumers, the producer must notify the central contact point immediately. The EU document on the notification of dangerous consumer products provides further details.
The "Products Safety in Europe" guide to corrective actions” provides general advice on what to do when a product is unsafe. You can use this guide to take corrective actions.
The distributor also plays a part in complying with general safety obligations and must fulfil the following obligations:
- to only supply or offer on the market products and services that are safe;
- to inform the consumer about the risks of a product or service by affixing the necessary usage instructions and warnings, and maintaining the documentation;
- to cooperate with the authorities and producers to trace the origin of the products and to participate in measures taken to prevent the risks associated with the products they provide;
- to immediately inform the central contact point if they know that a product or service they have placed on the market poses a risk to consumers
You will find more information on these obligations in the document “Questions and answers - economic code (PDF, 84.16 Kb)”. [not available in English]
The FPS Economy oversees the continuous monitoring of the Belgian market and ensures that products and services placed on the market meet safety requirements. Targeted inspection campaigns are organised regularly to review the safety of a specific group of products by sampling.
You can read the final reports of the inspection campaigns conducted in recent years in the section ‘Publications’ below.
If we believe a product is unsafe, we take the necessary measures according to the situation. Administrative penalties (warnings, recall, sales ban, destruction etc.) and legal penalties (fines or a judgment) can be imposed.
If you wish to submit a complaint, please contact the Directorate-General Control and Mediation of the FPS Economy.
- Réglement transactionnel des infractions à la loi de 1994, AR 09-02-1994
- Critères de fonctionnement et modalités de contrôle du fonctionnement des organismes intervenants, AR 27-04-2007
- Sécurité des objets contenant de substances ou des préparations liquides, AR 01-02-1999
- Réglementation relative à la responsabilité du fait des produits défectueux
- Marquage CE : quoi? Pourquoi? Comment ?
- Guide sur la relation GPSD et certaines directives sectorielles
- Guide de sécurité : Skating (patins en ligne)
- Campagne «vélos pour enfants» (2009)
- Campagne de contrôle détecteurs CO (2006)
- Product safety in Europe: A guide covering the corrective actions and products recalls
- Guidelines for the notification of dangerous consumer products to the competent authorities
- Guide de sécurité : Mini-motos
- Jouets : choisissez la sécurité
- Market surveillance campaign on children's high chairs (2010)
- Questions et réponses sur l’interprétation du Code de droit économique
- Arrêté royal du 27 avril 2007 déterminant les critères de fonctionnement et les modalités de contrôle du fonctionnement des organismes intervenants
- Arrêté royal du 1er février 1999 relatif à la sécurité des objets décoratifs, farces et attrapes, lampes décoratives et autres produits contenant des substances ou des préparations liquides
- Code de droit économique
- Loi du 25 février 1991 relative à la responsabilité du fait des produits défectueux
- US Consumer Product Safety Commission
- The Belgian Standardization Body (NBN)
- European Commission : Entreprise and Industry
- European Commission : Health & Consumers
- European harmonised standards: General product safety (GPSD)
- European Commission : New Legislative Framework for marketing of products
- European harmonised standards
- Centre de Recherche et d’Information des organisations de consommateurs – CRIOC