Market surveillance ensures that non-food products on the EU market do not endanger European consumers and workers. It also ensures the protection of other public interests such as the environment, security and fairness in trade. It includes actions such as product withdrawals, recalls and the application of sanctions to stop the circulation of non-compliant products and/or bring them into compliance.
Market surveillance is crucial for the smooth functioning of the Single Market. It helps protect:
Several factors affect the market surveillance authorities' ability to check whether products made available in the EU are manufactured according to EU law:
The major objective of the Commission is to ensure that EU market surveillance legislation provides:
Regulation (EC) 765/2008 sets out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products. The Regulation:
Decision 768/2008/EC on a common framework for the marketing of products contains provisions on market surveillance, obligations of businesses, traceability and safeguard mechanisms. These provisions are being incorporated in sector specific legislation.
Directive 2001/95/EC (the General Product Safety Directive) contains additional market surveillance provisions, notably for non-harmonised consumer products.
The Single Market Strategy adopted on 28 October 2015 emphasised that the growing number of illegal and non-compliant products in the Single Market distorts competition among businesses and puts consumers at risk.
On 19 December 2017, the Commission tabled a legislative proposal to strengthen controls by national authorities and customs officers to prevent unsafe products from being sold to European consumers.
The draft Regulation on Compliance and Enforcement will help create a fairer internal market for goods by encouraging more cooperation among national market surveillance authorities. This will include sharing information about illegal products and ongoing investigations so that authorities can take effective action against non-compliant products. The Regulation will also help national authorities to improve checks on products entering the EU market. Since 30% of goods in the EU are imported, the Commission also proposes to reinforce inspections of ports and external borders.
The draft Regulations will now be sent to the European Parliament and Council for adoption. Once adopted, the Regulation will be directly applicable.
The proposal is accompanied by the following documents:
For more information
In July 2017, the Commission issued guidelines to help national market surveillance authorities better control products sold online. These guidelines clarify:
An evaluation of the application of the market surveillance provisions of Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 was carried out between July 2016 and May 2017.
The purpose of the study was:
Another objective is to facilitate the implementation of the market surveillance framework. In particular, the Commission supports the development of a common understanding of market surveillance issues and cooperation among national authorities. It does this through actions such as: