New EU Regulation on Market Surveillance and Compliance of Products
The new Regulation on Market Surveillance and Product Compliance has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union (the Market Surveillance Regulation) on June 25. This regulation applies to an extremely wide range of legislation affecting electrical products. It also includes compliance with extended producer responsibility directives on WEEE, packaging and batteries. The regulation will enter into force in July 2021.
Part of the ‘Goods package’
This Regulation is part of the ‘Goods package’ which mainly aims to strengthen the European Single Market for goods. The goods package contains the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mutual recognition of goods lawfully marketed in another member state, adopted in March 2019(the Mutual Recognition Regulation).
Both regulations reflect the EU’s stated objective to reinforce trust in the EU single market by ensuring compliance with, and enforcement of product legislation (through the Market Surveillance Regulation) and at the same time improving and facilitating mutual recognition for goods (through the Mutual Recognition Regulation).
This new EU regulation requires companies to appoint an economic operator in the European Union. The economic operator must verify that compliance documentation has been prepared and is available for market surveillance authorities.
What is the impact on producers?
The regulation applies to all producers of relevant products, including those located outside the EU. If the producer is based in the EU, they are regarded, logically, as the economic operator. However, if the producer is located outside the EU and does not appoint an importer or authorized representative to perform this role, then the responsibility automatically falls to an online marketplace or fulfilment house, where one is involved in arranging the transaction.