The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted amendments to the Law on General Product Safety

On 31 October 2019, the National Assembly of the Republic of the Serbia adopted the Law on General Product Safety (the “Law”), published in the Official Gazette No. 77/2019 dated 31 October, 2019, effective eight days after publishing in the Official Gazette on 08 November 2019.

The Law primarily amandes Article 1 in such a way as to determine its purpose, which is to make products released on the market safe. In line with this objective, a provision concerning deceptive products has been added, so that the production, import, export and marketing of misleading products is prohibited. The definition of a product within the meaning of this Law has also been changed, so its provisions now apply not only to final products, but now include all products, even non-final products, without which final products could not be used. Terminological harmonization of the term „harmonized standard“ was also made, which is now defined as a European standard adopted by the appropriate standardization committee. The Law also stipulates when a product placed on the market can be considered safe. The legislator has introduced another obligation for the competent authorities, to create a procedure for dialogue with manufacturers and distributors regarding product safety. One of the innovations is that, for the sake of transparency, information which competent authorities has, on the risks posed by products to the health and safety of consumers will now be made available to the public. The Law also clarifies that information on product identification, the nature of the risk, and the measures taken will now be available to the public. Information that constitutes a business secret will not be disclosed to the public in justified cases. The amendments define the competence of the market inspection and specify the competence of the sanitary inspection. The Law now regulates cooperation with the European Commission in more detail. In addition, the obligation of the competent authorities to cooperate with one another is explicitly provided for, also the obligation to keep the European Commission regularly informed.

The aim of the Law on General Product Safety, passed in 2009, was to ensure a high level of consumer health and safety, which was largely in line with European Union law. Amendments to the Law are a consequence of the need for further harmonization with the regulations of the European Union. The changes were necessary to fulfill Serbia’s commitments by signing the Stabilization and Association Agreement, as indicated by the analysis conducted in this area. The analysis was carried out with the cooperation of EU experts, with experts from Serbia in this field. The European Commission’s comments have significantly contributed to the drafting of the Law, with the aim of improving the terms, as well as the criteria for evaluating the compliance of manufacturers and distributors and the obligation to inform the public about dangerous products. The law came into force eight days after its publication in the Official Gazette, ie. November 08, 2019.