European Commission recognises GS1 standards as a best practice for enhanced traceability

EU Expert Group Highlights Global Best Practices for Product Traceability

New report cites the adoption of GS1 Global Supply Chain Standards as a best practice for enhanced traceability, faster recalls and improved consumer safety.

Brussels, Belgium – (January 17, 2014) – As the industry prepares for upcoming consumer safety regulations around certain non-food, non-healthcare products, an expert group set up by the European Commission recognised the adoption of GS1 Standards as a best practice in addressing supply chain traceability needs.

Adoption of traceability standards was just one of several recommendations highlighted in a report released by the group following two years of industry-wide dialogue. These recommendations focus on benefits for not only businesses and consumers, but also for market surveillance authorities with the common goal of protecting public safety and health.

“As supply chains continue to span the globe and consumers purchase more products online, ensuring traceability has become more challenging,” said Maija Laurila, Head of the Product and Service Safety unit at the European Commission's Directorate General Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) and chairwoman of the traceability expert group. “The ability to track and trace products helps properly identify dangerous products and remove them from the market more rapidly. It would be interesting to see educational traceability assessment exercises conducted jointly with the businesses or trade associations and market surveillance authorities. In addition, global standards contribute to the success of traceability systems and to overall consumer protection.”