Four e-commerce giants, including Amazon and Alibaba, pledged Monday to withdraw dangerous products more quickly from the market, the European Commission said.

It said the firms, which also included eBay and Rakuten-France, had pledged to act within two working days when notified by EU member states of a dangerous product and within five days when informed by consumers.

The pledge they signed will "further improve consumer safety," said Vera Jourova, tasked with consumer affairs for the commission, the executive arm of the 28-nation EU.

"Consumers should be just as safe when they buy online as when they buy in a shop," Jourova said in a statement.

The US and Chinese e-commerce firms and the Japanese Rakuten's French subsidiary must offer a "clear way" for customers to report "dangerous products," the commission said.

And they must give member countries "specific single contact points" for notifications.

Jourova urged other online retailers to make a similar pledge as the commission reported that e-commerce accounted in 2016 for 20 percent of EU purchases.

The pledge comes as authorities in member states find it harder to trace products sold online and identify the growing number of operators outside the bloc involved.

The Commission and the e-commerce giants will review the steps taken every six months and publish progress reports.

In a statement, Amazon said it was "pleased to be one of the founding signatories" of the arrangement. "Customer safety has always been a top priority for us," the Seattle-based giant said.(AFP)

 

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