How we’re working to keep our marketplace safe: Rakuten France

At Rakuten Group, we strive to continuously improve the quality, safety, reliability, legality, usefulness and convenience of our products and services. Our goal: to maximize customer satisfaction by providing products and services that not only meet the expectations of our customers, but exceed them.

Today, we are taking an important step to ensure that these promises are met. Rakuten France’s Chief Operating Officer Cedric Dufour is in Brussels to launch the new European Product Safety code of conduct with Vera Jourova, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.  Under the new code, we are committing to a series of measures designed to remove dangerous products from our marketplace quickly after we are notified – and to collect and report data on removals to the Commission twice a year.

“I welcome the Product Safety Pledge which will improve consumer safety,” Commissioner Jourova said.  “I call also on other online marketplaces to join this initiative, so that the internet becomes a safer place for EU consumers.”

Rakuten France’s COO Cedric Dufour and European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers & Gender Equality Vera Jourova celebrate the launch of the first ever voluntary Product Safety Pledge in Brussels.
Rakuten France’s COO Cedric Dufour and European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers & Gender Equality Vera Jourova celebrate the launch of the first-ever voluntary Product Safety Pledge in Brussels.

Rakuten operates third party marketplaces, allowing merchants to connect with consumers. The majority of transactions on our marketplaces is generated by third party merchants; transactions which take place without us holding, shipping or delivering goods directly. By enabling millions of sellers around the world to build their businesses using our innovation and digital technologies, we are committed to providing a safe, secure and convenient location for e-commerce, economic activity and the empowerment of micro, small and medium-sized businesses across the globe.

Rakuten France enjoys a long and strong history of ensuring product safety. Ever since 2012, we have checked products offered on marketplaces with products offered by the EU’s Rapid Exchange of Information System (RAPEX). RAPEX allows a quick exchange of information on product recalls, whether carried out by national authorities or voluntarily by manufacturers and distributors.

On our marketplace, we pay particular attention to removing products such as clothing, shoes, cosmetics, jewelry or toys that may contain potentially harmful substances, as well as products with technical faults such as appliances that could emit electric shocks or present a fire hazard.  Toys with small pieces that might break off and harm children represent a special concern as well.  We have developed a proactive system with a long list of keywords to alert us of products presenting potential dangers and each week, we add additional keywords.  As soon as sellers create product files and before they are posted, we check them.

In addition to our own internal actions, we cooperate with customs and other retailers to keep the marketplace clean.  When customs blocks a product, we block it.  French customs runs a helpful site informing us of which products large retailers have blocked.

Product safety is only one way we try to protect our customers. This is the second agreement Rakuten France has signed with the European Commission. Two years ago we joined a European memorandum of understanding to monitor counterfeits that has proven to be a success in opening a constructive dialogue with brand owners.  These actions underline our commitment to quality, to reliably deliver products and to provide convenient, user-friendly products and services to our customers.

For more information and video from the event, visit here.

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