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Single market for goods

'New legislative framework' for marketing of products

The Package of measures known as the "New legislative framework" was adopted in Council on 9 July 2008 and published in the Official Journal on 13 August 2008. The measures are designed to help the internal market for goods work better and to strengthen and modernise the conditions for placing a wide range of industrial products on the EU market.

The package builds on existing systems to reinforce the application and enforcement of internal market legislation. It:

  • improves market surveillance rules, to better protect both consumers and professionals from unsafe products, including imports from third countries. This particularly applies to procedures for products which can be a hazard to, health or the environment, which will be withdrawn from the market;
  • boost the quality of (and hence confidence in) the conformity assessment of products through stronger clearer rules on the requirements for the notification of conformity assessment bodies (testing, certification and inspection laboratories) including the increased use of accreditation; a system to ensure that assessment bodies provide the high quality services that manufacturers, consumers and public authorities need;
  • clarifies the meaning of CE marking and so enhances its credibility. In addition the CE marking is to be protected as a trade mark, which will give authorities and competitors additional means to take legal action against abuse;
  • establishes a common legal framework for industrial products in the form of a toolbox of measures for use in future legislation. This includes provisions to support market surveillance and the application of the CE marking, definitions of terms commonly used in product legislation (but sometimes used differently at present) and procedures which will allow future sectoral legislation to become more consistent and easier to implement.

The legal texts published in the OJEU are:

While Regulations 765/2008 and 764/2008 are directly applicable, Decision 768/2008 contains reference provisions which are to be incorporated in future product legislation.

Regulation 765/2008 and Decision 768/2008 are fully complementary and together form the basis of a consistent legal framework for the marketing of products. The provisions of the Decision will be incorporated in existing Directives as and when they are revised - in effect, it is a template for future product harmonisation legislation.

Regulation 764/2008 (the new mutual recognition regulation) also strengthens the internal market for a wide range of other products, not subject to EU harmonisation, for example foodstuffs such as bread and pasta, furniture, bicycles, ladders and precious metals. Together they represent more than 15% of intra-EU trade in goods.

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE "NEW LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK"  

Alignment of existing legislation with the model provisions of Decision 768/2008/EC

In view of bringing product harmonisation legislation into line with the reference provisions of Decision 768/2008/EC, on 26 February 2014 an “Alignment Package” consisting of the following eight directives (which would not otherwise have been revised in the near future) was adopted, and published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 29 March 2014:

  1. Low Voltage Directive: Directive 2014/35/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits;
  2. Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive: Directive 2014/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to electromagnetic compatibility (recast);
  3. ATEX Directive: Directive 2014/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (recast);
  4. Lifts Directive: Directive 2014/33/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to lifts and safety components for lifts;
  5. Simple Pressure Vessels Directive: Directive 2014/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of simple pressure vessels;
  6. Measuring Instruments Directive: Directive 2014/32/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of measuring instruments (recast);
  7. Non-automatic Weighing Instruments Directive: Directive 2014/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of non-automatic weighing instruments;
  8. Civil Explosives Directive: Directive 2014/28/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market and supervision of explosives for civil uses (recast);

Member States need to transpose into national law the provisions of these Directives which will be applicable from 20 April 2016.

In addition, the Pyrotechnic Articles Directive which was part of the "Alignment Package" of Commission proposals was already adopted in June 2013: Directive 2013/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of pyrotechnic articles (recast). The provisions of this Directive will be applicable from 1 July 2015.

The proposals of the alignment package were preceded by consultation of economic operators, users, public authorities, conformity assessment bodies, with direct experience of this sector legislation. These documents contain an overview of the reactions from each category of respondents:

In parallel to the public consultation, the Commission specifically consulted Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) active in the sectors concerned through the Enterprise Europe Network. The following document contains an overview of the replies provided by the SMEs consulted.

The Impact Assessment prepared in relation to the Alignment Package pdf български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv)

The Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment pdf български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv)  

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