Workshop on enhancing consumer product safety on online platforms

17 April 2024
10:30 - 12:00 hrs.

The digital marketplace has transformed the way consumers access and purchase products globally. However, the rise of e-commerce has also introduced new challenges in ensuring the safety of consumer goods. The Eighth United Nations Conference highlighted adopted a resolution to improve international cooperation to prevent the cross-border distribution of known unsafe products. This is in line with consumers’ legitimate need to the protection of their health and safety, as recognized by the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection.

Recent findings, such as the 2021 OECD sweep, reveal that a range of unsafe products, which had been prohibited from sale or recalled from the market, or presented inadequate product labeling and safety warnings, remained available for sale online, thus underscoring the urgency of addressing these challenges.

This webinar builds on the discussion held at the seventh session of the intergovernmental group of experts on consumer protection law and policy of 4 July 2023 in Geneva on the issue of “building trust in digital markets through enhanced consumer protection on online platforms,” and the accompanying UNCTAD secretariat background note.


This webinar aims to foster dialogue and share best practices among policymakers, enforcers, and businesses to improve consumer product safety on online platforms. It seeks to leverage the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection as a framework to address the distribution of hazardous products, inadequate legal and institutional frameworks, and insufficient product recall mechanisms and safety warnings in the digital marketplace.

Key Topics:

  • International information sharing: enhancing cooperation among member states to share information on unsafe products and recalls, facilitating effective cross-border consumer protection.
  • Strengthening legal and institutional frameworks: addressing the need for robust legal and institutional mechanisms that empower authorities and online platforms to act decisively against the sale of unsafe consumer products in online platforms.
  • Effective recall mechanisms: developing efficient recall strategies and improving the communication of safety warnings to consumers and online platforms.
  • Partnerships with online platforms: encouraging collaboration between consumer product safety authorities and online marketplaces to ensure the safety of products sold online. Discussing the role of product safety pledges and policy guidance to enhance consistency and protection across countries.
  • Building safer digital environments: sharing insights from Consumers International's guidelines for online product safety, including the need for clear and actionable product safety reports from government authorities to online platforms.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Enhanced Collaboration: Strengthened partnerships between online platforms, consumer safety authorities, and international organizations to ensure a unified approach to product safety in the digital age.
  • Actionable Strategies: Development of actionable strategies for governments and online marketplaces to enhance consumer protection online, including adopting and implementing product safety pledges.
  • Improved Consumer Awareness: Increased awareness among consumers about the risks associated with online purchases and the measures being taken to protect them.


The webinar will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, including representatives from member States, online marketplace platforms, consumer protection agencies, international organizations, and consumer rights groups. This webinar is organized in the context of UNCTAD’s informal working group on consumer product safety.


The session will include presentations by experts in consumer product safety, case studies showcasing successful initiatives, and panel discussions to facilitate an exchange of ideas and best practices. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in Q&A sessions to deepen their understanding of the challenges and solutions related to online consumer product safety.

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Mr. Arnau Izaguerri -

Ms. Mariana Martins -