Goods Package: a positive step forward towards smarter, more effective market surveillance

19 December 2017

The European Commission today presented a proposal for a Regulation on compliance and enforcement of EU harmonisation legislation on products, as part of a ‘Goods Package’ designed to strengthen the ability of national authorities to ensure products sold in the EU meet the relevant legal requirements. For Orgalime, the voice of the European engineering industries, this is a welcome move to help businesses demonstrate compliance with the law – while reinforcing the means to deter rogue, non-compliant economic operators.

“We have long been vocal in our calls for a simpler, more effective market surveillance system,” explains Malte Lohan, Director General Designate of Orgalime, “and we are pleased to see that the Commission has also recognised this need. Strengthening the hand of Member State market surveillance authorities in effectively enforcing EU legislation and promoting compliance is crucial to upholding a level playing field across the Internal Market.”

The proposal includes a number of elements that Orgalime believes will support national authorities in this endeavour. For example, measures such as the possibility to establish partnership agreements with economic operators or the option to put in place memoranda of understanding between these authorities and industry stakeholders can pave the way to a smarter approach to promoting compliance – while the establishment of an EU Product Compliance Network will enhance coordination and knowledge sharing among national authorities.

It is regrettable, however, that the Commission’s proposal did not place sufficient emphasis in the body of the Regulation text on the importance of protecting economic interests through a level playing field. “If the Commission is to take seriously its commitment to industry as a driver of employment and growth in the EU, it should be very clear about the fact that enforcement serves a crucial purpose in safeguarding enterprises from unfair competition, in addition to the equally important goal of promoting health and safety,” Malte Lohan underlines.

Orgalime is now calling on the European Parliament and Bulgarian and Austrian Presidencies of the Council to give this issue priority in their work programme for 2018.