Tukes warns of buying devices from non-EU online shops
11 Sep 2018, 02:05 ( 11 Sep, 2018) | updated: 11 Sep 2018, 02:07 ( 11 Sep, 2018)
Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) has launched a campaign warning Finnish customers of the risks in purchasing merchandise from internet stores outside the European Union (EU).
Senior inspector Anja Merenkivi told media on Monday that her agency has no way of helping the customer in the event that the product is defective or dangerous. "The consumer is really alone in that situation. It is nearly impossible to get the internet shop into a legal responsibility."
The agency nevertheless encourages consumers to send to it notifications about faulty non-EU merchandise. The agency maintains a list of faulty products and tries to be in contact with authorities in the home countries of internet shops, with the aim that faulty products would not be sold.
The agency is particularly concerned about toys and other products for children. It made a test order of 32 children's products and only one matched EU security norms.
Merenkivi said the agency is especially concerned about products that swell when in contact with liquid. If a child swallows such a ball, for example, he or she may die as the gadget swells up in the body, she told the evening paper Iltalehti.
Kristiina Vainio, the legal counsel at the Finnish competition and consumer authority, said the problems related to internet shopping from distant countries are likely to grow. She elaborated that if a non-EU internet shop offers services in Finnish and is thus explicitly directed to customers in Finland, it should obey Finnish legislation.