Sedgwick has published its latest European product recall index report today. The index is a comprehensive representation of recall data from the second quarter of 2021.
The new report features product recall data, trends and predictions as well as legal and regulatory insight to help manufacturers and retailers prepare for the increased risk created by product innovations and evolution in the regulation of key sectors. These sectors include automotive, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, toys, electronics and clothing.
To download the recall index report, visit European product recall index report.
Highlights include second quarter data and predictions for what to expect for the remainder of 2021:
- 2021 brought widespread business interruption as a result of COVID-19 and Brexit which resulted in supply chain challenges as well as economic recession.
- There were semi-conductor shortages, data and cybersecurity issues and continued apprehension around the safety, quality and transparency of goods and labelling.
- Chemicals, contaminants and counterfeiting remained issues in both the food and non-food sectors.
- In food and pharmaceuticals, recalls seemed to be gradually returning to post COVID-19 levels. Looking at H1 2021 as a whole, the same trend can be observed for medical devices, as recalls are at 2% under 2019 – Q1 edged above pre-pandemic averages by 1.5% whereas Q2 dipped by 7%.
- Consumer goods – which includes clothing, electronics and toys – had mixed results.
Recalls for both electronics and clothing were still running considerably higher in Q2 than before the pandemic, at respectively +47% and +6%. This indicates that we still have a long way to go before some of the issues of the past year recede. However, recalls for toys have decreased compared with pre-pandemic levels by 40%.
- Across all sectors, there are more testing and quality requirements as the EU develops new frameworks to support its economic, environmental and safety challenges.
- The proposed ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars starting in 2035 will revisit the need for better battery safety of hybrid and electric vehicles.
- New pharmaceutical legislation proposed for the EU and UK will look to overhaul their regulatory systems impacting the global pharmaceutical industry.
- Implementation of the EU Medical Device Regulation and proposed revisions to the General Product Safety Directive have also made good headway.
- Whilst not a leading cause of food recalls, undeclared allergens will likely increase (from the 32 events experienced in Q2) as we approach October when Natasha’s Law comes into full effect. Businesses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will need to be prepared to provide full ingredient lists and allergen labelling on all pre-packaged food available for direct sales.
- Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are getting more proactive too; in the clothing sector, they are uniting to push back against “fast fashion” and its environmental impact.
The report further suggests companies with global supply chains and a heavy reliance on efficient manufacturing are feeling the effects more than others.
“Given how quickly business and regulatory environments are evolving, these businesses will have to rely more on expert partners. With the right data, planning and support they can help uphold commitments to customers, compliance and supply chain partners, while protecting reputations among the stakeholders that matter most,” said Luke Evans, recall consultant of Sedgwick’s international brand protection division.
The recall index is produced by Sedgwick’s brand protection experts every quarter. It is the only report that aggregates, and tracks recall data to help industry stakeholders navigate the regulatory environment, product recalls and other in-market product challenges. For more information, please visit www.sedgwick.com/brandprotection.