The safety of many products that we use every single day has never been assessed by an independent body. The test seal that features on many products is in fact merely the CE marking, which is obligatory throughout Europe. This is in most cases simply a statement by the manufacturer that they have complied with the relevant standards and directives. The consequence: dangers and deficiencies only become apparent when the products are already on the market and people have potentially already been harmed.
One sensible alternative is the GS mark, which is legally regulated. This test mark indicates that the manufacturer has voluntarily had the product assessed by an independent party based on the German Product Safety Act (Produktsicherheitsgesetz, ProdSG). With this certificate, manufacturers and importers can prove that they definitely fulfil their safety responsibility. It is crucial for the GS mark to be awarded before the product is placed on the market. Then, it can reduce the burden on market surveillance, make a decisive contribution to consumer protection and provide important guidance for purchasing decisions.