In the context of the single market, the European Union has adopted a consumer policy. The core objectives of this policy include giving consumers a greater say and protecting their safety and economic interests in the most efficient way possible. The responsibility for the implementation of the policy is given to the European Commission’s DG Justice and Consumers. The European Commission keeps the information as precise and reliable as possible so that consumers can have a greater say. In this regard, it’s believed that the Minister of Economic Affairs should urge DG Growth and DG Justice and Consumers to perform a joint review of the policy on CE marking to bring the role played by end-users more closely into line with the EU policy of providing consumers with a greater say.
In this regard, the main areas for improvement of customer information are, as follows:
- Raising consumer awareness of CE marking – consumers should have access to more information related to the system of CE marking and its importance, and in particular on its meaning and values for customers. Nowadays, many consumers (33% of respondents according to a wide-ranging survey) are confused and don’t have a clear idea what CE marking means and why it is important.
- Better information on inspection findings and product origin – another aspect that needs improvements is the customer information on the inspection findings of market surveillance authorities and the origin of products. The better informativeness of customers will help them make more informed choices when it comes to buying a product on the single market.
- Market surveillance authorities – RAPEX should distribute more user-friendly information on product recalls, such as inspection findings in the form of open data. Currently, only the databases of RAPEX and NANDO can be accessed by end-users, and the information there is a fraction of all the data collected by the EU every year.
- Economic operators – a lack of information is also noticed in regards to manufacturers' clarifications on the products’ origin and production process. In this regard, economic operators, and especially manufacturers, could use Tagologic Tag (TTag) to provide more information on the product, production chain, businesses involved, marketing and customer loyalty. By doing it, they will help in the improvement of the product traceability and customer awareness of the products’ provenance.