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.
In 2013, the European Commission adopted a proposal for new rules improving the safety of consumer products and market surveillance for all non-food products. The proposal should enhance consumer product safety and strengthen market surveillance over products in the EU.
The proposed Consumer Product Safety Regulation contains a provision of the indication of the product's country of origin. An analysis was conducted to assess the potential costs and benefits of origin labelling to national authorities, consumers, and businesses.
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. Therefore, the Commission will launch a comprehensive set of actions to further enhance efforts to promote compliance and to keep non-compliant products from the EU market by strengthening market surveillance and providing the right incentives to economic operators.
In October 2016, the Commission launched an public consultation on these possible actions. The contributions to the consultation are available.
In July 2017, the Commission issued guidelines to help national market surveillance authorities better control products sold online. These guidelines clarify:
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: