ONLINE purchasers of LED lighting products have been warned that a high proportion have ‘serious electrical safety risks’.

Source: Lux Magazine  10.29.18

The Lighting Industry Association market compliance boss Leva Vardanyan told a meeting of European compliance chiefs that a ‘mystery shopper’ survey revealed that a high proportion of the lighting products tested from online marketplaces have serious electrical safety risks.

According to Ms. Vardanyan, just removing the individual products detected from the market cannot be the solution and that changes in the law and stronger tools for market surveillance are needed.

The Brussels audience also heard that there was evidence of widespread VAT avoidance on online platforms. Richard Allen, a lobbyist with Retailers Against VAT Abuse Schemes, argued that marketplaces have a great responsibility to deal with the issue. Through amendments to VAT legislation, the EU and some member states are supporting the approach and making marketplaces responsible. Germany, where there are new VAT obligations for online marketplaces if the seller is not compliant, was a good example.

Nigel Harvey, chief executive of UK compliance scheme Recolight, described a study undertaken by the WEEE Scheme Forum, to check the compliance of products sold through online marketplaces.  This showed that 76 percent of LED light bulbs did not comply.

Commenting on the study, Nigel Harvey said: ‘Evidence shows there is large scale WEEE non-compliance sales through online marketplaces.  High street retailers have, for many years, checked the compliance of equipment producers.  Online marketplace operators could – and should – do the same.  There can be no excuse for knowingly aiding the sale of products that break the law.’

Monika Romenska, regulatory and public affairs manager of the Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance for Packaging and Packaging waste, added: ‘Distance sales already represent up to between 20 and 30 percent of the market across various waste streams in certain member states.

‘By avoiding paying for their collection and reprocessing costs, these sales distort the market: they impose an unfair cost on compliant producers, thus rendering these – mostly local companies – less competitive.’