Vision on Market Surveillance

Currently, market surveillance systems in some Member States fail to secure an elevated market quality, with the consequence of non compliant (thus potentially dangerous) products and  in the market, unfair competition among the different market actors, and mistrust of consumers.

With the extension of the product legislation from safety to environmental issues, exposure to discrepancy between legislation and enforcement increases. Industry has strong concerns on the political willingness or capacity of member state authorities to devote sufficient resources and ensure an adequate level of market quality.

Our industry has also expressed severe concerns about some basic principles that currently shape a significant share of European legislation.

Traditional New Approach directives have their main focus in stating the fundamental principle that Member States cannot create hindrance to the free circulation of goods, and must establish procedures on correcting measures when non conforming products are found. They do not explicitly state the obligation for market operators to put conforming products on the EU market, but rather the obligation to produce in accordance to the law.

More and more, EU product legislation addresses the moment of placing on the market rather then the production phase. We definitely support this shift of focus which is linked to the obligation for all market operators to put only compliant products on the market. Thus, we believe that the New Approach should endorse this line of development.

For each product, placed on the EU market, the law should identify a responsible person established within the European Union and therefore subject to the jurisdiction of one of the 25 Member States. This should be the manufacturer, if established within the EU, its authorized representative or the importer. To avoid problems of unlevel playing field in the market, they should share the same level of responsibility, against the same action: business decision to make available on the EU market a product that must fulfil certain legal requirements.

This concern was minimal in the Seventies and Eighties as the quantity of products placed on the market by pure trading companies was very limited. Today, in the perspective of a further increase of economy globalisation, this concern cannot be ignored any longer, at least for durable consumer goods. Domestic appliance manufacturers think tat the current revision of the New Approach framework is a very good occasion for addressing this issue and combining the very positive experience that NA has given on supporting product development with more equitable conditions for an effective and workable market surveillance. For household appliances manufacturers, this is a fundamental point, in the light of Lisbon agenda and the need of establishing fair conditions for the maintenance in the EU of qualified industrial and commercial operations.

CECED is also active in the fight against counterfeiting, dumping, and tariff trade barriers. From this standpoint, domestic appliance manufacturers consider with particular interest the development of protocols of co-operation for free and fair trade as the one established between CECED and CHEAA, the Chinese association of electrical household appliance manufacturers.

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