There are two new proposed EU Regulations governing market surveillance. One of them deals with mutual recognition, which may be more important to a post-Brexit UK.
For the time being AMDEA is concentrating on the other one, which sets out rules and procedures for compliance with, and enforcement of, EU legislation on products. Regular readers may remember that a previous “Goods package” comprising draft Regulations on market surveillance and general product safety failed to achieve agreement back in 2014.
This new proposal recognises the importance of effective market surveillance in making CE marking and other harmonising regulation actually work. It also stresses the need for Member States to provide adequate funding for their Market Surveillance Authorities (MSAs) – something that is not necessarily happening at the moment. It is also clear that, as consumers increasingly buy products from on-line suppliers across the EU and beyond, enforcement is becoming ever more difficult.
Each EU Member State is responsible for its own market surveillance but it is proposed that the European Commission should be granted powers to provide centralised support and test facilities. It has also been suggested that there could be formal agreements between regulators and businesses, or at least the organisations that represent them, though we understand that there is a great deal of scepticism about this idea.
Simultaneously there are contradictory proposals for more stringent penalties and a suggestion that MSAs should be able to obtain samples of products free of charge!