Requirements for general consumer goods

General consumer goods are products that do not fall within the scope of special legislation.

General consumer goods must meet the general safety requirements of the Consumer Safety Act, which means that they must not pose a danger to the health or property of anyone.

General consumer goods include products such as:

  • Furniture
  • Ladders
  • Candles
  • Lighters, such as cigarette lighters
  • Roller and other blinds
  • Textiles and children’s clothing
  • Domestic swimming pools and outdoor hot tubs
  • Sports and exercise equipment
  • Decorative items and utensils for household purposes

Detailed information on the safety requirements for each product group can be found on their respective subpages.

The Consumer Safety Act is secondary and complementary

The Consumer Safety Act is a form of secondary and complementary general legislation. If a product contains electrical or pressure features, for example, it must also meet the requirements of the special legislation that applies to the product, in addition to the safety requirements of the Consumer Safety Act. For example, an electric desk or a pool that uses electricity for heating or recirculating water must comply with the general safety requirements of the Consumer Safety Act and the safety requirements for electrical equipment and/or pressure equipment.

Chemical safety of general consumer goods must also be taken into account. Further information on chemicals is available from Tukes’ chemical information service.

CE marking only on products that require it by law

Products that are within the scope of the Consumer Safety Act but not within the scope of any special legislation must not include a CE marking. A CE marking must only accompany products that require the marking by law.

Some special legislation, such as the following, require products within their scope to include a CE marking:

  • Electromagnetic compatibility – EMC;
  • Hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment – RoHS.

The purpose of electromagnetic compatibility is to ensure that electrical equipment does not create disturbances that would affect other equipment and is immune to disturbances caused by them. RoHS legislation restricts the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical equipment.

Tukes supervises compliance with the Consumer Safety Act

Tukes is a market surveillance authority that uses spots checks to monitor the safety of consumer goods that are on the market. Tukes does not grant advance approval for products or inspect them in advance. The company is responsible for ensuring that their products are safe and comply with requirements.

The safety characteristics of some products are subject to supervision by several different authorities. The competent supervisory authority depends on the circumstances in which a product is found to be unsafe or in which the product is typically used. For example, risks resulting from materials that are transferred from cooking equipment to food are the responsibility of the Finnish Food Safety Authority. If, however, the handle of a saucepan falls off and causes a risk of burns to consumers, the matter becomes Tukes’ responsibility.

In addition to Tukes, other competent authorities that monitor compliance with the Consumer Safety Act include Finnish Customs, which ensures the safety of consumer goods that are imported to Finland.