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EU moves to keep unsafe products off the market: Council agrees position on enhanced enforcement and compliance rules

Met dank overgenomen van Raad van de Europese Unie (Raad), gepubliceerd op vrijdag 23 november 2018.

The EU is introducing new rules which will ensure that products placed on the EU market comply with EU safety and environmental protection rules. Ambassadors today agreed on the Council's position on a new regulation which enhances the enforcement of EU rules for non-compliant products, while offering businesses incentives for compliance.

The regulation :

  • 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 Union market and for improved cooperation between market surveillance authorities and customs authorities.

Next steps

The Council will now start negotiations with the European Parliament with the aim of reaching a rapid adoption of the proposed regulation.

Background

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.

Illegal and non-compliant products on the market distort competition and put consumers and professional end-users at risk. Economic operators disregard the rules either through lack of knowledge or intentionally to gain a competitive advantage. Moreover, businesses are often active both within the EU and worldwide, and modern supply chains are evolving rapidly. In international e-commerce in particular, when no importer is part of the supply chain, market surveillance authorities have great difficulty in addressing non-compliant products, as no responsible entity is established within the EU.

The compliance and enforcement regulation is a part of the so-called "Goods package", which also contains 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.

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