STRASBOURG, France (AP) — The European Parliament on Thursday tightened safety rules to help eliminate tainted toys and other dangerous goods from the market.
New marketing guidelines remove some of the barriers to free trade within the EU, but also make importers responsible for checking that products are safe.
Until now, importers have been asked only to provide technical documents proving the product is in line with EU standards.
European consumers were hit by numerous recalls of potentially dangerous Chinese-made toys last year, and product safety concerns remain high.
The new guidelines extend the internal market to goods such as bread and pasta, furniture, bicycles, ladders and precious metals, whose marketing has until now been subject to various national rules.
The differences have discouraged small and medium-sized companies from exporting these products because they had to prove they complied with technical standards of the EU state it was exporting to.
The new legislation ''is likely to boost SMEs' cross-border trade as well as to cut red tape for companies,'' said Arnaldo Abruzzini, Secretary General of Eurochambers, an association of European chambers of commerce.