Who watches the watchers?

Date

22 Apr 2009

Sections

Sustainable Dev.
Health & Consumers

European consumers expect safe products. European manufacturers expect fair competition. But the lack of a pan-European framework for market surveillance and enforcement activities means the expectations of both communities are unfulfilled.

Hence ORGALIME - the European engineering industries association - and ANEC - the European consumer voice in standardisation - have today issued a common position paper[1] calling on Member States and the European Institutions to provide the infrastructure and resources necessary to ensure that market surveillance and enforcement activities do ensure the principles of trade within the Single Market are strengthened to the benefit of consumers and manufacturers alike.

Stephen Russell, ANEC Secretary-General, remarked: “The Single Market brings together 27 EU countries and 500 million consumers. Although the free circulation of products is one of the fundamental freedoms of the Single Market, enshrined in European legislation, no similar framework exists to ensure the equal and effective enforcement of the safety of products among Member States. Indeed, there is no requirement for the safety of products even to be a priority for national surveillance and enforcement authorities. We should not allow European consumers to remain so exposed to unsafe or illegal products”.

Adrian Harris, ORGALIME Secretary-General, said: “The rule should be simple – a product traded in the Single Market must respect all European legislation. Sadly that is not the case today. The commitment of responsible manufacturers to place safe products on the market is being undermined by an unscrupulous minority. The problem is that the system of market surveillance across the Member States is not consistent or properly funded. We do applaud the Commission for providing the New Legislative Framework[2], addressing market surveillance in a European instrument for the first time. Now, let us ensure the necessary steps to realise the improvements needed are applied in Member States”.

ENDS

Notes for the Editor:

[1] ANEC-ORGALIME common position paper “Call for an effective pan-European market surveillance system” (see www.orgalime.org and www.anec.eu)

2 NLF references - Regulation (EC)765/2008 and Decision 2008/768/EC

Mark Redgrove
Head of Communications
ORGALIME aisbl | Diamant Building | Boulevard A Reyers 80 | B1030 | Brussels | Belgium
Tel: +32 2 706 82 56 | Fax: +32 2 706 82 50 | www.orgalime.org