EU Surveillance and Compliance of Products

On June 20th, 2019, the European Union (EU) published the Regulation on Market Surveillance and Compliance of Products (2019/1020) to update surveillance rules and procedures.

What is the Purpose of this Surveillance Regulation and Compliance of Products?

According to Article 1, the EU Regulation 2019/1020 intends to improve the functioning of the internal market by strengthening the market surveillance of products.

The goal is to ensure that only safe products comply with environmental regulations, conform with workplace safety laws, and align with the public interest in the European market.

Regulation 2019/1020 applies to products under the Union harmonization legislation, including, among others:

  • Electrical and electronic equipment
  • Machinery
  • Radio and telecommunications terminal equipment
  • Toys
  • Measuring instruments
EU Market Product Enforcement Surveillance

EU Product Surveillance Requirements for Economic Operators

Trade - Compliance of products

The official document defines an economic operator as the:

  • Manufacturer
  • Importer
  • Distributor
  • Authorized representative; or 
  • Another legal person responsible for putting products on the market

According to the regulation, they must:

  • Ensure the existence and availability of the Declaration of Conformity (DoC) and technical documentation for the product 
  • Provide the proper documents to a Market Surveillance Authority at their request
  • Inform Market Surveillance Authorities if a product presents a safety risk
  • Cooperate with Market Surveillance Authorities when asked to take corrective action in the case of a non-compliant product
  • Include their name, registered trademark or trade name, and contact information on the product, the article’s packaging, or its accompanying document.
Compliance of products - Declaration of Conformity

Responsibilities of EU Member States for Compliance of Products

Among other things, EU Member States must ensure surveillance and verify the efficiency of environmental product compliance regulations like:

Union Product Compliance Network

Therefore, to optimize communication among the States, the EU has established a Product Compliance Network for coordinated enforcement (chapter 8 of 2019/1020) and requires the cooperation of both local economic operators and international organizations.

Representatives from each Member State compose the Network and aim to make market surveillance more effective. To accomplish this, they have the following tasks:

Union Product Compliance Network
  • Implement their work program;
  • Identify common priorities for market surveillance activities and information exchange concerning risks assessments, test methods, technological developments, and emerging risks;
  • Coordinate administrative cooperation groups (ADCOs);
  • Organize training programs and information campaigns;
  • Assist in the development of the Safety Gate / Rapid Exchange of Information System (RAPEX);
  • Evaluate surveillance strategies;
  • Facilitate collaboration to improve market surveillance and product traceability.

Powers and Responsibilities of Market Surveillance Authorities

A Market Surveillance Authority is a person designated by a member state who ensures that online and offline products comply with the harmonization legislation.
Their responsibilities are to:

  • Perform documentary and laboratory checks on products based on an analysis of their risk to public security;
  • Confirm that economic operators make corrections when their articles do not comply with legislation and take proportionate action if they fail to do so;
  • Recall products if they pose a safety risk;
  • Collaborate with other authorities to prevent non-compliant products from entering the market;
  • Exercise their powers independently and without bias.
Market Surveillance Authorities - Compliance of products
EU Surveillance authorities and trade

Their powers are to:

  • Require economic operators to provide them with documentation and information to verify compliance of products
  • Require operators to take corrective action if a product poses a risk and to ban the product from the market if they do not do so
  • Carry out on-site inspections and physical product checks without prior notice
  • Obtain samples to collect evidence of non-compliance of products
  • Impose appropriate penalties outlined in the Regulation on Market Surveillance

Should you have any questions on market surveillance and compliance of products, contact Enviropass!