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16. 6.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 187/105

The implementation by Member States of surveillance measures required under Directive 96/23/EC on measures
to monitor substances and residues thereof in live animals and animal products and repealing Directives
85/358/EEC and 86/469/EEC and Decisions 89/187/EEC and 91/664/EEC (1), together with severe penalisation
of offenders, should in the medium term result in a big drop in the number of cases of illegal use of these banned

(1) OJ L 25, 23.5.1996.

(98/C 187/158) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3974/97

by Anneli Hulthén (PSE) to the Commission
(12 December 1997)

Subject: Warning system for dangerous products

Within the European Union there is a system for the exchange of information on dangerous products, RAPEX.
Unfortunately there is no obligation to report dangerous products discovered on the market, nor their names.
Does the Commission regard this as a satisfactory situation for consumers? If not, what does it contemplate doing
to improve the situation?

Answer given by Mrs Bonino on behalf of the Commission

(27 January 1998)

The Community system for the rapid exchange of information on dangers arising from the use of consumer
products (RAPEX), set up by Council Decision 84/133/EEC and now integrated into Directive 92/59/EEC on
general product safety (1), is a general and horizontal early warning and monitoring system designed to help
Member States in handling urgent situations.

Its essential aim is to provide information on all available details of the product, the danger involved, and the
measures decided by the notifying Member State, to public authorities responsible for the protection of their
citizens in order to allow them to take immediate and appropriate action when a grave and immediate risk arising
from a consumer product has been detected by one of them.

The measures adopted and notified through the system often consist in the publication of warnings or in other
arrangements to ensure that those who might be exposed to a risk from a product are informed in good time of
such a risk. The measures adopted or decided by Member States against a dangerous product are administrative
decisions which normally are published also at the national level.

Nevertheless, the Commission agrees that the system needs to be revised in order to improve its efficiency and to
introduce more transparency in its functioning. This is one of the elements to be considered when defining the
proposals for the modification of Directive 92/59/EEC that the Commission will present in the second half of
next year.

(1) OJ 228, 11.8.1992.

(98/C 187/159) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3976/97

by Xaver Mayer (PPE) to the Commission
(9 December 1997)

Subject: Sale of propolis (bee glue)

Propolis is described in the medical literature as a natural substance used to boost the body’s own immune
system. It is used as a raw material in the manufacture of medicines.