I Know My Products certification for responsible businesses
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency has developed a new online learning environment for manufacturers, importers and distributors of consumer goods (toys, personal protective equipment, gas appliances, machinery, electrical appliances and general consumer goods). The learning environment features a tool that businesses can use to test how well they know their products and to learn about legal requirements.
The portal explains the most important laws and regulations that businesses must be aware of and teaches them more about product safety and quality control. Businesses can also test their knowledge of safety management and quality control systems and product-specific requirements. The I Know My Products system is designed to promote good corporate citizenship and continuous improvement. Signing up is voluntary, and there are no fees.
I Know My Products certification is a way for businesses to prove that they are aware of the requirements that their products must meet and that they follow the principles of good corporate citizenship. Anyone can access the portal. Businesses that can demonstrate that they know their products get a certificate and the right to use the I Know My Products logo in their marketing materials, for example. However, the logo must not be affixed to products or portrayed as a mark of official approval.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency publishes a list of businesses that are I Know My Products certified on its website.
The portal is scheduled to go live in the spring of 2021.
Who is it for?
The system is specifically designed for SMEs in order to ensure that smaller businesses also know their responsibilities when it comes to product safety. However, organisations of all sizes are welcome to sign up both to improve their own business and to ensure the compliance of their suppliers.
How does it work?
- Businesses are encouraged to test whether they know enough about product compliance and to prove that their procedures conform to the principles of good corporate citizenship.
- To do this, they are told to visit the I Know My Products portal.
- The online learning environment features tests relating to different product categories, from which businesses can choose the ones that are relevant to them.
- Businesses that pass their tests get a certificate and the right to use the I Know My Products logo.
- The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency publishes a list of certified businesses on its website.
Why sign up?
The I Know My Products system gives businesses a new tool for improving their procedures and an opportunity to stand out from their competitors. Being a good corporate citizen is important for an organisation’s image. The I Know My Products logo helps businesses to show their customers that they are aware of the requirements that their products must meet and that they follow the principles of good corporate citizenship.
The system promotes continuous improvement and enables businesses to optimise their procedures and maximise their profits by taking care of product safety “in one fell swoop”. Businesses that manage product safety proactively are less likely to put out dangerous products and know what to do in the event of a non-compliance. The I Know My Products system provides a springboard for businesses to improve their processes and identify any weaknesses that need to be addressed.
What does it mean for consumers?
Businesses are responsible for ensuring the safety of their products. The authorities carry out spot checks on businesses to make sure that they can be trusted. However, despite legal requirements, product safety is not something that consumers can take for granted. The Finnish Safety and Chemical Agency’s product checks, market surveillance and the European Commission’s Safety Gate rapid alert system show that the market is full of potentially dangerous products.
I Know My Products certification is one way for businesses to show that they are committed to ensuring that their products comply with the relevant laws and regulations. The logo gives consumers more information about the values and corporate citizenship policies of businesses.
There are a few things that consumers can check to satisfy themselves of the safety of products. They can, for example, familiarise themselves with the quality of products and the instructions for use before making a purchase. The I Know My Products logo helps consumers to make informed choices. However, the logo is not an automatic guarantee of the safety of all the products sold by an individual business.