The European machinery industry welcomes the European Commission’s Safety & Market Surveillance Package presented on February 13, says a joint statement released by the Committee of European Construction Equipment (CECE), the European Association of the Machine Tool Industries (CECIMO), the European association representing the agricultural machinery industry (CEMA), the European Materials Handling Federation (CEMA) and Europe’s Association for plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers (EUROMAP).
“The European machinery industry, represented by CECE, CECIMO, CEMA, FEM and EUROMAP, warmly welcomes the proposal from the Commission, as it reflects many of the suggestions that our industry has made during the past months. Whilst we fully support the positive aspects of this package, we also call on the European Parliament and Council to come up with additional amendments to improve the overall effectiveness of the proposed scheme.” says Luciano Anceschi, President of EUROMAP.
The new Regulation on Market Surveillance addresses both the non-harmonized consumer and harmonized non-consumer products. Current market surveillance rules are scattered across a number of legislations, namely the GPSD (2001/95/EC), Regulation 765/2008 and a range of sector-specific legislation. The Package now brings these rules together in one single instrument and aims at establishing uniform rules for market surveillance activities across the EU.
The Regulation introduces a broader definition of risk, which places all public interests on the same level of importance. Whilst in the past, risk for public interest was mainly interpreted as risk for safety and health, now it is extended so as to safeguard also environmental protection and energy efficiency regulated by EU harmonized legislation. Therefore, any non-compliance with sector-specific EU legal requirements is going to be considered as a risk against public interests.
Moreover, the document also indicates the specific measures should be taken in case of serious risk, which include destroying, preventing from placing on the market, recalling and withdrawing the respective products.
As market surveillance cannot be achieved at Member States level alone, more and greater EU coordination is foreseen by the legislation. For this purpose, the rapid exchange information alert system (RAPEX) has been extended to harmonized non-consumer products, and a European database for notifications and statistics has been placed under the Commission’s control (ICSMS).
The Commission also has the possibility of directly intervening in a number of cases through Implementing Acts. Finally, the Regulation also establishes a European Market Surveillance Forum (EMSF) with sectorial subgroups.
“We welcome this initiative which should help to coordinate the activities of all the national authorities and directly spot a sectorial market surveillance problem,” says Jan van der Velden, President of FEM. “However, the role of the industry in that Forum should go beyond that of a mere observer so that our technical expertise can be fully used.”
Market surveillance is an activity confined to governmental bodies. However, regulations are complex, and products are technical and difficult to check. Therefore, input from industry is important to make the system work, according to Mr van der Velden.