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Isn’t placing a product on the market already difficult enough? Come on European Parliament, please help us!

Date

10 Jul 2013

Sections

Climate & Environment
Innovation & Enterprise

Orgalime feels that the draft reports of Rapporteurs Pietikäinen and Schaldemose throw a spanner in the works of what was overall a reasonable Commission proposal for a Product Safety and Market Surveillance Package. Fortunately, the first ‘exchange of views in the European Parliament yesterday gives some hope – to get market surveillance to at last work simply and effectively for industry, for consumers and for authorities- may yet be achieved.
The draft reports introduce a number of new requirements which render the whole proposal more complex and more open to interpretation. Adrian Harris, Orgalime’s Director General said “We have been trying for years to get market surveillance to work properly. We are really disappointed with the way things are turning out. We feel that the approach is in many ways unfriendly to legitimate manufacturers. Our companies in
Europe already have a raft of legislation to comply with. For us it is clear that every product on the market should comply with all our legislation. And it is up to authorities to check this. We want no more, no less.”
However, the introduction of vague concepts such as the ‘precautionary principle’ as something to be applied by manufacturers1, ‘vulnerable consumers’, ‘emerging risks’ and a ‘CE+ marking’ would achieve exactly the opposite of what was intended: rather than helping manufacturers who increasingly suffer from unfair competition in the EU from non-compliant products by establishing a framework which is straightforward and simple to apply by both authorities and manufacturers, the proposal is moving towards adding more costs, more bureaucracy and more risks on legitimate manufacturers. For Orgalime this package should be about enforcing effectively existing legislation; this is the best way to ensure a high level of protection for consumers, workers and other policy interests.
“What we do not need today is more legislation that is unclear, burdensome, complex and costly to apply.
Let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot; such a one-sided approach is not sustainable – neither for legitimate market operators nor for the member states’ authorities that are expected to implement it” added Harris. “In simple terms, the European single market needs legal certainty and predictability. This will help our industry; it will signal to companies that the EU institutions are really committed to realise the type of framework which will promote fair competition and manufacturing investment in Europe; it will reinforce consumer confidence.
We now hope that the European Parliament will now move in a direction which really helps us. ”
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Notes for Editors:
Orgalime recent position papers:
1. Market Surveillance Regulation: Joint industry response to IMCO draft report on the Proposal (8 July 2013) – view our video position paper on the subject (9 July 2013)
2. Consumer Products Safety: More consistency needed across the board (3 June, 2013)
3. Market Surveillance Regulation: A brave step towards an effective pan-European market surveillance system (28 May, 2013)
4. Product Safety and Market Surveillance, strengthening confidence and competitiveness in the European marketplace (27 May, 2013)

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1.http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/consumer_safety/l32042_en.htm

Orgalime, the European Engineering Industries Association, speaks for 38 trade federations representing some 130,000 companies in
the mechanical, electrical, electronic, metalworking & metal articles industries of 23 European countries. The industry employs some
10.3 million people in the EU and in 2012 accounted for some €1,840 billion of annual output. The industry not only represents some
28% of the output of manufactured products but also a third of the manufactured exports of the European Union.

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