95% of lighting products bought online are non-compliant – survey
The European Union must crack down on online suppliers of lighting equipment which doesn’t comply with the standards, the manufacturers’ trade body LightingEurope has declared, after it discovered that 95 per cent of products it purchased failed EU standards.
The organisation carried out a so-called ‘mystery shopper’ exercise to establish how much non-compliant lighting is sold on online marketplaces into European and UK markets.
It says it demonstrates that non-compliant lighting products are easily accessible online.
LightingEurope says it is calling on EU policymakers to finally address the legal loophole where traders located outside of the EU cannot be held account.
Only an EU-based operation can be held liable for the non-compliance of the products and allocate lability for product safety requirements, such as when a product does not satisfy ecodesign or energy labelling rules or does not contribute to waste recovery and recycling fees.
The mystery shopping exercise was carried out over six EU countries and four online marketplaces. Of 150 products inspected, 107 (71 per cent) were found to be non-compliant in their online presentation, and 95 per cent were found to be non-compliant upon delivery. The mystery shoppers carried out visual inspections of the information on the webpage and then ordered and received lighting products and inspected the information on the packaging and on the product itself.
They looked at two product types, GLS replacement lamps (LED 60w A60 E27, most common types) and desktop luminaires with integrated LED lamps.
It bought the times from platforms in the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Spain, France and Italy.
The mystery shoppers proceeded to the online inspection of the first products that appeared in the search results, following the platforms’ search algorithm, meaning that no geographical distinction was made. This was done so that, to some extent, it was each platforms’ search algorithm that decided what products would be inspected. LightingEurop proceeded to the online inspection of the first 30 products that appeared and ordered the first 10 that failed the online inspection.
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