EU steps up efforts to keep unsafe products off the internal market
The EU is introducing new rules which will ensure that products placed on the single market are safe and compliant with EU legislation protecting public interests, such as health and safety in general, health and safety at the workplace, consumers, the environment and public security.
The Council's Permanent Representatives Committee recently (15 February 2019) endorsed a provisional deal reached on 7 February between the Romanian presidency of the Council and representatives of the European Parliament regarding a proposal for a regulation which enhances the enforcement of EU rules for non-compliant products, while increasing the confidence of consumers and other end-users in products placed on the EU market.
- consolidates the existing framework for market surveillance activities;
- addresses the challenges of international e-commerce and online trade;
- encourages joint actions by market surveillance authorities from several member states;
- introduces a fully digital workflow for improving the exchange of information between authorities and the Commission;
- creates a strengthened framework for controls on products entering the single market and for improved cooperation between market surveillance authorities and customs authorities.
The agreed text, following its usual legal/linguistic scrutiny, will be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council for formal adoption.
Within the single market, free movement of goods is the most developed of all four fundamental freedoms. It generates around 25% of EU GDP and 75% of trade in goods between EU member states. The EU accounts for around one sixth of the world’s trade in goods. Trade in goods between EU member states was valued at €3 063 billion in 2015.
The objective is to improve the functioning of the internal market with a view to ensuring that only compliant products are made available. Non-compliant products that enter the EU market distort competition and put consumers and professional end-users at risk. Businesses are often active both within the EU and worldwide, and modern supply chains are evolving rapidly, including distance sales.
Market surveillance authorities act in the interest of economic operators, end-users, and of the general public, to ensure that public interests covered by respective EU harmonisation legislation on products are protected. While performing their activities, market surveillance authorities ensure a high level of transparency and make available to the public any information that they deem relevant in order to protect the interests of end-users in the Union.
The market surveillance and compliance Regulation is part of the so-called "Goods package", which also contained the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mutual recognition of goods lawfully marketed in another member state, concluded successfully in 2018.
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