EU Market Surveillance Regulation: European harmonisation

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“On 16 July 2021, the EU Market Surveillance Regulation – MÜ-VO for short – finally came into force, which is intended to ensure a better functioning European single market. The background is as follows: products on the European market are to be better monitored in the future. In this way, Brussels wants to combat distortions of competition and prevent consumers from being put at risk by non-compliant products.

Everything compliant? Brussels is tightening the thumbscrews. According to the MÜ-VO, all economic operators are obliged to
– check whether an EU declaration of conformity/performance has been drawn up,
– keep it available for the authorities,
– report high-risk products,
– provide all information and documentation necessary to demonstrate the conformity of the product to the market surveillance authorities
the market surveillance authorities and to cooperate with the market surveillance authorities to
– to eliminate any risks.

In addition, all economic operators must indicate their name or trade name or trade mark and contact details including postal address on the product, packaging, package or accompanying documentation.

The so-called fulfilment service providers are now also considered obligated economic operators. The MÜ-VO understands this to mean “any natural or legal person who, in the course of a business activity, provides at least two of the following services: Warehousing, packaging, addressing and dispatching of products in which it has no ownership rights”.

The competent national market surveillance authorities are responsible for the implementation of the Regulation on their territory. The MÜ-VÖ provides them with an effective instrument for this task. Among other things, they have the power to carry out documentary checks as well as on-site inspections to ensure the conformity of the products.

In future, the authorities of the member states must develop market surveillance programmes according to uniform European standards. They are also obliged to cooperate across borders and to provide effective administrative assistance. Pressure is also growing on them: they have to face regular assessments by other authorities.

If a product is found by the market surveillance authority to pose a risk to health or safety or does not comply with EU harmonisation rules, the authorities can require the economic operator to take appropriate and proportionate corrective action. These include bringing the product into conformity, preventing it from being made available on the market, withdrawing or recalling the product from the market and warning the public of the risk posed by the product, and destroying the product.

EU Member States and the Commission will share information more efficiently in the future – using tools such as the Rapid Information Exchange System (RAPEX) and the Information and Communication System for Pan-European Market Surveillance (ICSMS). With the help of these tools, authorities and customs officials can communicate with each other about dangerous goods – a clear gain for the coordination of market surveillance.”*

*Source: FLÜSSIGGAS, 2021/4, S. 12

 

GAGT e.V. has already pointed out in the past that the market surveillance authorities will now also prohibit the sale of 5 kg and 11 kg compressed gas containers (propane/butane) without handing out confirmation declarations. There now also beckons a fine procedure in the event of violations.

In Germany, the market surveillance authorities are to be approached at the upper state authorities. The GAGT e.V. will do this from now on.

Source: Peter Ziegler

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