European product recalls continue to rise as regulatory scrutiny increases across sectors

May 30, 2023

Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on X

LONDON, 30 May 2023 – European product recalls in five key sectors rose an aggregate of 6.1% in the first quarter of 2023 over the previous quarter, according to Sedgwick’s latest European product recall index report. Following two consecutive years of increases in total recalls, this first quarter data suggests that 2023 is on track to continue this trend.

The report analyses recall data from the automotive, consumer product, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and medical device sectors and found that increases in the number of consumer product (18.4%), food and beverage (2.9%), and medical device (6.8%) recalls drove the rise in total events. Both the automotive and pharmaceutical sectors saw recalls decrease, by 2.6% and 17.3%, respectively.

Sedgwick’s recall index report goes beyond the data to provide analysis of regulatory activity in the past quarter and predictions for the year ahead. Regulators have focused on environmental concerns ranging from green claims in several product categories to reducing emissions from the automotive sector. Regulatory changes are expected for both the medical device and pharmaceutical sectors that aim to modernize the existing regulatory framework. Businesses that operate in the UK and the European Union will also face uncertainty around the UK’s Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill, or “Brexit Freedoms Bill,” particularly the sunset clauses that would see certain rules automatically expire at the end of the year.

“While European businesses contend with an increasing number of product recalls, they must also adapt to an ever-growing list of regulatory changes,” said Chris Occleshaw, international product recall consultant at Sedgwick. “With consumers paying closer attention to regulatory activity and demanding more accountability and transparency from businesses, the risks that businesses face will become more numerous and more costly. Supplementing existing risk management processes with the support of expert partners and a stronger commitment to pre-planning can go a long way in helping businesses protect their reputation and their operations.”

The European recall index is published every quarter by Sedgwick’s brand protection experts. 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, please visit

To download the latest recall index report, visit Sedgwick’s European 2023 edition 1 recall index site.

About Sedgwick 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 33,000 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

Tags: Brand, brand management, Brand protection, Consumer, Consumer experience, consumer product safety, consumer products, consumer recall, Europe, Preserving brands, product management, Product recall, product recalls, recall