Non-compliance costs and needs better enforcement

Last October FEM supported the Orgalime contribution and position paper on “market surveillance: enforcement and compliance”. The European Commission has now published the results of this consultation, which have been aggregated to reflect trends in the way stakeholders responded to the questions.

For instance, a wide majority of business stakeholders confirmed that their products are affected by non-compliance with product requirements in the EU harmonisation legislation, and that the existence of non-compliant products on the market has a negative impact on both the sales and the market share of compliant manufacturers.

Respondents also largely agreed that market surveillance needs improvement as authorities severely lack financial and human resources, as well as the technical means to carry out their tasks.

When asked about the benefit of a digital compliance system, electronic means to demonstrate compliance with legal requirements is largely supported. However, interestingly, business stakeholders strongly disagree with a compulsory e-compliance system, mostly because of the risks of exposure of confidential sensitive information. Authorities, on the other hand, are in favour of such a system.

Most stakeholders (businesses and public authorities alike) support increased exchange of information among Member States’ authorities and at the same time, closer cooperation between customs and market surveillance, for more effective controls of non-EU imported products entering the EU market.