The General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC

There are products, including many everyday objects, which they are not subject to specific safety regulations.
Although many entrepreneurs do not know it, these goods are regulated by Directive 2001/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on general product safety, which encompasses and regulates all products and services.
Yes, even the services.
For example, audio guides in museums or do-it-yourself shopping devices in supermarkets are not subject to specific standards but must meet the general product safety requirements.

It doesn't matter whether the item in question is new, used or refurbished.
We report a passage from Directive 2001/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council relating to general product safety which is very clear in this regard:

“For the purposes of this Directive, “product” means any product intended, including in the context of the provision of services, for consumers or capable, under reasonably foreseeable conditions, of being used by consumers, even if not intended for them, supplied or made available for a fee or free of charge in the course of a commercial activity, regardless of whether it is new, used or refurbished”.

Nobody excluded, therefore.
Many manufacturing companies, perhaps misled by the lack of specific regulations or perhaps enticed by the possibility of not having to invest in the testing phase, place unsafe products on the market.

Leaving aside for a moment the law and the possible sanctions for violators, marketing non-compliant goods also introduces ethical considerations. It's not just about standards but also about the trust of your customers and, consequently, the company's reputation.
Strategy and communication experts have dedicated many studies to the importance of brand image, especially on the internet.
It doesn't take much for, thanks to the power and speed of the network, a mistake made even in good faith can destroy all the good work done.

We quote a passage from Product safety and market surveillance package, very clear and exemplary:

“In a context of economic crisis, consumer spending has decreased, above all due to the contraction in incomes and uncertainties about the future. For this reason it is necessary that consumers can continue to have confidence in the safety of products and their suitability for the purpose for which they were designed".


Placing safe goods on the market is an act of respect towards the customer.
In fact, the consumer not only chose it among other competitors but also invested in a product that must be functional, safe and in line with expectations.

Let's think of a family with an average income where the parents, with difficulty, decide to please their child by giving him the object of desire, the one that everyone has.
Since it is expensive, parents decide to opt for the slightly cheaper version, but still the same as the others.
They are calm because they bought it in a shop.
In reality the object has not been subjected to safety tests.
It is part of that category of goods not subject to specific regulations and the parent company did not deem it appropriate to investigate further.
One day the product breaks, risking injuring the child.
It is natural that the family will feel betrayed by the company, plundered and we are certain that they will no longer choose the company in question, perhaps also causing bad publicity among friends and acquaintances

For manufacturers, rely on serious and reliable testing laboratories such as Sicom Testing it is an investment in your products and customer loyalty.
Even if the good in question is a small, apparently harmless object, even if it does not have dedicated safety regulations, turning to serious and qualified laboratories always pays off.

The General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC not only protects the end customer but also the company itself which, if it were to become responsible for accidents or problems, in addition to being criminally liable, would then have to work hard to clean up its image and regain its customer trust.

It also concerns the electrical sector and, specifically, products that have a power supply of less than 50 Volts in alternating current and under 75 Volts in direct current.
Many objects that are fundamental for daily life belong to this macro-group, just think of the electric toothbrush or the razor.

A simple one electrical safety testing can prevent accidents for users and manufacturers.

To be in compliance, just apply Directive 2001/95/EC relating to the general safety of products and rely on specialized laboratories such as Sicom Testing.

You can be sure and, ultimately, it is the nicest gesture you can do towards your customers.

Stefano Olzi

Sicom Testing offers a complete service for electrical safety testing of the products.

To request further information on this topic, write to
or call +39 0481 778931.

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4 thoughts on “La direttiva sulla Sicurezza generale dei Prodotti 2001/95/CE”

  1. Greetings,
    Does an outdoor plastic disinfectant box for sunbeds fall under the Machinery Directive or 2001/95/EC?

    Thank you

    • Good morning.
      A product falls within the scope of the Machinery Directive if it has at least one moving part moved by a force other than direct human or animal force (therefore typically by a motor).
      If the product in question has one or more moving parts moved by motors, it falls within the scope of applicability and must be certified in accordance with the Machinery Directive.
      Greetings from Sicom Testing

  2. Greetings,
    I have to import a product from China to then resell it in Europe, from what I read in your article I have come to the conclusion that to be in compliance I must apply Directive 2001/95/EC, I would like to ask you how to do it and who should I contact.
    Awaiting your response, I send you my best regards,

    • Good morning Matteo, thank you for contacting us. The application of the directive implies that the manufacturer carries out an assessment of the risks associated with the use of the product and demonstrates its compliance with the applicable requirements. For more information you can contact us at
      Best regards
      Sicom Staff


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