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Who is toying with Finland’s recall notifications every June?

Each week we look at Europe’s recall data to make informed predictions on what lies ahead for industries. Our curiosity always gets the better of us, and this month we looked closer at what happens in different countries at certain times in the year.

Funnily enough we found that June is quite an exceptional month for Finland when it comes to recall notifications and it got us to thinking - what exactly happens to Finland in June?

For clarity, Finland averages around 113 recall notifications per year (from 2017 to 2019), which equates to around nine per calendar month. However, looking at June alone the country submitted 20 notifications in 2020, 17 in 2019, 12 in 2018, 11 in 2017.

In 2020, notifications included battery charger (1), electronic control for a light (1), laptop power supply (1), power adaptor (1), plush toy with sequence (8), spectacle frame (3), toy slime (2) and vehicle lift (3). We compared this data with June 2019 and found seven of 17 notifications were for toys also.

Finland’s principal imports are food stuffs, petroleum, chemicals, transport equipment, iron and steel, machinery, textile yarn and fabrics and grains from countries including Germany, Russia, Sweden, Netherlands and China.

Finland is widely regarded as a prosperous and stable economy with a government which is focused on removing trade barriers. Its consumers are interested in high quality, high tech innovations and is considered Europe’s leader for digitalisation as per the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI, 2019).

The country extends from north-western Russia to Scandinavia and the Baltic States – in fact The Port of Helsinki is one of the busiest in Europe. Finland was also the first Western country to sign an intragovernmental trade agreement with the Chinese government in 1953 and large numbers of Finnish companies have been hugely successful in China as a result.

This long-standing trading relationship has proven successful for both countries – especially in electronics and digital tech. We only need to look at Nokia as a case and point.

Imports of toys and games equated to $183.15M in 2018 – so there are vast volumes of products from this category coming into Finland each month. What isn’t clear though is why there is a spike in recall notifications in the month of June. And if toys are consistently being stopped from entering the consumer market then perhaps this is an area which needs remedying from both sides.

Whatever the reason, it piqued our interest enough to learn more about these great nations and their half-century long trading relationship.

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