General product safety

General safety requirements for non-food products are regulated in the act on general product safety. The act applies to all consumer products and refers to them to the extent that the provisions of more specific regulations, setting out safety requirements, do not apply. Such regulations apply, for example, to toys and other products for which requirements are set out by sectoral directives. The regulations specify the obligations of manufacturers and distributors to ensure product safety.  

The President of UOKiK conducts surveillance of the overall safety of non-food products and is also responsible for the national contact point for the EU Safety Gate/RAPEX system.

The President of UOKiK supervision of general product safety includes, among other things:

  • conducting administrative proceedings,
  • maintaining a register of hazardous products,
  • development of periodic inspection plans,
  • collecting notifications on hazardous products.

General product safety proceedings may be initiated in connection with:

  • information from the Trade Inspection, which is the authority that inspects products for their compliance with safety requirements,
  • signals from other sources – for example, from consumers or from supervisory authorities of other EU Member States.

If a product fails to meet safety requirements and poses a threat to the life or health of consumers, the President of UOKiK may:

  • demand that the manufacturer label the product with warnings concerning the risks posed by the product,
  • order the manufacturer to warn consumers or notify the public of the risk,
  • order the elimination of the risks posed by the product,
  • order the manufacturer to withdraw the product from the market, which consists in collecting all copies of the product form distributors by the producer and prohibiting distributors from presenting and offering such product to consumers.
  • order the manufacturer to recall the product from the customers and destroy it if this is the only means of ensuring the elimination of danger.

Products deemed as not meeting safety requirements by the President of UOKiK are entered in the Register of dangerous products.

The President of the Office may also, on its own initiative, inform the general public about products that are found to be dangerous to consumers, through publishing: 

A consumer who thinks that they have a dangerous product may:

  • apply for compensation to the manufacturer under the provisions of the Civil Code if he or she suffers damage due to the use of the product,
  • forward a report on a dangerous product to UOKiK or the Trade Inspection, regardless of seeking judicial redress for compensation for damages.