LONDON, 21 November 2023 – European product recalls increased for the fifth consecutive quarter, according to the latest edition of Sedgwick’s European Recall Index report. While the total number of recalls across five key industries increased just 2.7 percent from the previous quarter, the 3,227 events recorded in Q3 2023 marks the highest level of recall activity in a single quarter for more than ten years. This tops the previous record set last quarter.
Sedgwick’s quarterly report analyses recall data from the UK and EU automotive, consumer product, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries. In the third quarter, the record-breaking number of recall events was driven by the medical device and pharmaceutical industries, which saw recall activity increase by 17.2% and 48.6%, respectively. The automotive and food and beverage industries also experienced an uplift in activity, but by 1.4% and 1.1% respectively. Consumer products was the only industry where product recalls decreased from the previous quarter (-10.5%).
Beyond the latest recall data, Sedgwick’s report also provides insights into recent regulatory activity and shares predictions for what manufacturers across European industries should be looking out for as we approach 2024. Regulators in the EU and UK are focused on measures to support sustainability efforts, foster innovation across sectors, and make online shopping safer for consumers. Artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity also remain a priority as regulators work to balance technological advancement with product safety and data security.
Across all industries, there are an increasing number of regulations that build on each other or that are modelled after existing laws. We are seeing this with extended producer responsibility rules, as well as proposed rules supporting the European Green Deal, the Farm to Fork strategy, and the Circular Economy Action Plan. Perhaps most notable of all is the varying approach to regulating AI, which may be regulated at the national level with the EU’s AI Act and with sector-specific guidance for industries like medical device and consumer products. The risk of a misstep in maintaining compliance may increase for businesses as the web of interconnected regulations continues to grow.
“As product recalls increase across industries and the number of regulations continues to grow, businesses face a complicated risk landscape with little margin for error,” said Chris Occleshaw, International Product Recall Consultant at Sedgwick. “In the lead-up to 2024, a strategic and well-planned approach to product safety and in-market challenges will set businesses on the right foot as we step into a new year.”
To download the latest Recall Index report visit Sedgwick’s European 2023 edition 3 Recall Index page.
The Sedgwick brand protection Recall Index is published every quarter. It is the only report that aggregates and tracks recall data across the UK and EU to help industry stakeholders navigate the regulatory environment, product recalls, and other in-market challenges. For more information, visit https://www.sedgwick.com/brandprotection.
Sedgwick is a leading global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions. The company provides a broad range of resources tailored to clients’ specific needs in casualty, property, marine, benefits, brand protection and other lines. At Sedgwick, caring counts; through the dedication and expertise of 31,000 colleagues across 80 countries, the company takes care of people and organizations by mitigating and reducing risks and losses, promoting health and productivity, protecting brand reputations, and containing costs that can impact performance. Sedgwick’s majority shareholder is The Carlyle Group; Stone Point Capital LLC, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Onex and other management investors are minority shareholders. For more, see sedgwick.com.
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