The primary purpose of this second PROSAFE Joint Action on child resistant lighters and novelty lighters is to ensure that lighters placed on the EU market are safe. Moreover, the purpose is to gather experience related to best practice techniques in following up large joint actions and to further develop best practices for national market surveillance actions including cooperation with customs (nationally and internationally).
Even though reports from EU Member States indicate that novelty lighters constitute a decreasing share of their markets, the results of the first PROSAFE Joint Action on lighters did in fact show that a large share of the lighter models on the European market still do not comply with the legal requirements. This observation has also been emphasised by European stakeholders that repeatedly stressed the need for a long-term engagement of commitment from the Member States to clean up the market.
Therefore, PROSAFE and Market surveillance authorities from 13 EU Member State countries decided to carry out this second Joint Action on lighters which follows up the PROSAFE Joint Action undertaken by 15 member states in the years 2007- 2009. For further information, please refer to the news release issued on 1st May 2010.
In the framework of the Joint Action, a number of news releases has been issued. Out of these, we mention the release on 17 February 2011 that dealt with the king size lighters found on the European market. The participants of the Joint Action noted some uncertainty regarding the legal requirements that apply to such lighters, and they wished to assert several key aspects for the benefit of the manufacturers, importers and authorities. A sixth news release has been issued on the 17 March 2011 concerning the successful collaboration between market surveillance authorities and customs authorities to reinforce their actions against unsafe lighters.
The project Lighters 2 has seen a couple of cases where economic operators have placed very large lighters on the market. The participating market surveillance authorities have discussed how to treat such lighters, and they have settled on the following Opinion on 15 April 2011.
The Member State authorities have developed a guideline to support them decide on appropriate measures against non-compliant lighters taking the principle of proportionality into account. The Guideline provides one input to this process that will have to be combined with other input such as information from the economic operator, the market situation, the product’s track record, the business’ track record, exposure, etc. etc. The guideline does not bind Member States that will always have to evaluate the specific circumstances in each specific case.
The Member States in the Joint Action have also developed a Guideline to importers of lighters from third countries. The guideline describes legislation, standards, pitfalls and other useful information for lighter importers.
Lastly, the Joint Action used the opportunity to celebrate the results obtained in more than five years of market surveillance activity during the Final conference on 8 November 2012. The Minutes and the presentations can be found here.
Since September 2007, PROSAFE has coordinated two projects, in which 17 Member States and EFTA -EEA countries were involved and additional 12 countries associated on their own to the actions. Read more about the results of the work undertaken in the latest news release (21 November 2012).
The Final Implementation Report of this Joint Action is available and provides information about the activities undertaken, the participants involved, the results obtained and a financial statement comparing all expenditures against the budget. This project has been executed under the 2009 call for tender and the reporting requirements may differ from actions granted under calls outlined in other years.