Information and Communication System on Market Surveillance
ICSMS (Information and Communication System on Market Surveillance - https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/icsms) is an IT system owned by the European Commission which provides a comprehensive communication platform for the market surveillance authorities of the Member States.
However, ICSMS is not only a mechanism for the reliable exchange of information among authorities but also the platform for the implementation of European market surveillance policy.
The ultimate role of ICSMS is to help the European Union to fulfil one of its major political objectives; i.e. to ensure reliability and coherence in the implementation and enforcement of European legislation to allow operators and citizens to reap the full benefits of the Internal Market.
The system allows information on non-compliant products (test results, product identification data, photographs, economic operator information, risk assessments, accident information, information on measures taken by surveillance authorities etc.) to be shared quickly and efficiently among authorities.
ICSMS has an internal and a public area so some information is also available to the public.
ICSMS public area
The public area is for consumers, users and manufacturers etc. The information open to the public provides a reference to the product and its non-compliance but no internal documents (i.e. information exchange between the relevant authority and the importer/manufacturer).
ICSMS internal area
The internal area is for market surveillance authorities, customs authorities and the EU institutions. It contains all available information (product description, test results, measures taken etc.).
ICSMS enables specific searches to be made for non-compliant products. Confidentiality aspects are protected by a system of access authorisations.
Each market surveillance authority can input data about investigated products which are not already in the database and add information (e.g. additional tests results, measures taken) to existing product information files.
In particular ICSMS helps market surveillance authorities to:
exchange information on market surveillance measures in a quick and timely manner;
coordinate their activities and inspections more effectively;
share resources and thus devote more time to concentrating on other products which have yet to be tested;
carry out wide-scale market interventions wherever products of a dubious nature are concerned using the latest information and so avoid duplicating inspections;
develop best practices;
ensure that market surveillance is efficient and of uniform rigour in all Member States and so prevent distortion ofcompetition;
establish an encyclopaedia of EU market surveillance intelligence.