WG Product Safety discusses digitalisation and sustainability


On 14 December 2021, the Working Group Product Safety (WGPS) met online for its Annual Meeting. They discussed how artificial intelligence (AI) can be used for market surveillance in e-commerce. The challenges and opportunities of the circular economy for product safety and the introduction of a digital product passport were also in the focus. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWi) and the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) have been cooperating within the Working Group since 2019.


Liu Min (SAMR) and Dr Ole Janssen (BMWi) © GIZ-GPQI

If you had to decide on the major topics of our time that transform the way we live, two probably come to mind quickly: Digitalisation and sustainability. New technologies are increasingly used in all areas of daily life: from Industrie 4.0 to Internet of Things, e-commerce and autonomous and connected vehicles. They change the way we work and live. They bring exciting possibilities to change our societies for the better. Digitalisation and innovation can also help with our biggest task: to support the green revolution to counter climate change and ensure a sustainable future.


Cooperation on quality infrastructure for sustainability and innovation

How can quality infrastructure (QI) enable a sustainable economy? Under what conditions does QI promote innovation and digitalisation? And how can QI ensure fair and open competition, and protect consumers at the same time?


These questions have guided the work of the WG Product Safety for many years. They also shaped the discussions during its Annual Meeting on 14 December 2021. Dr Ole Janssen, Deputy Director General for Digitalisation and Innovation Policy at BMWi and head of the German delegation, emphasised that governments should focus on sustainability, safety and health, with regard to the EU’s new legislative framework. At the same time, they must ensure open and fair competition, and create space for innovation and new ideas. Liu Min, Director General of the Department for Product Quality Regulation of SAMR, underlined that international cooperation is very beneficial and that the collaboration should be intensified.


The Chinese and German delegations discussed how AI can be used for market surveillance in e-commerce. They talked about how the EU and Germany are adapting their product safety systems to address AI and cybersecurity risks. Other topics included the challenges and opportunities of the circular economy for product safety and the introduction of a digital product passport.


What will happen next year?

Next year, the WGPS will continue to facilitate expert meetings to exchange on best practices and discuss potential solutions. For a clear understanding of Chinese regulations, the WG is planning an online training for German companies. It aims at preventing possible trade barriers.


If you are interested in participating in the QI dialogue on product safety, please contact us.


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