What is Market Surveillance?
Market Surveillance are the activities carried out by public authorities to ensure that products comply with the requirements set out in the relevant legislation. These actions strengthen health, safety and other aspects of the public interest, such as consumer protection and a level playing field for businesses (Definition by CEN). More importantly, market surveillance is essential for the success of environmental legislation. Without strict enforcement of the rules, environmental targets are endangered.
Why is Market Surveillance important?
European legislation in the field of energy and the environment are specifically designed to contribute to reaching Europe’s 2020 targets for 20% less CO2 emissions, 20% more energy efficiency and 20% renewable energy use in the European Union by 2020. But legislation in the “books” is not enough. Successful implementation and market surveillance, i.e. enforcement are key to ensure that member states and the private sector comply with their obligations.
What is EPEE’s view on Market Surveillance?
The mechanisms currently in place focus on the safety of products, but they do not systematically take into account EU environmental and energy legislation. They lack procedures to verify the energy performance and compliance with environmental standards of products put on the European market.
The heat-pump, cooling and refrigeration sector is impacted by a large range of EU Regulations and Directives. These include Eco-Design of Energy Related Products (ErP), Energy-labeling, EPBD, WEEE, RoHS and REACH among others.
Non-compliance with this legislation distorts the market and comes at the expense of the environment, consumers and industry. It can result in the sale of products, which use banned chemicals. It can also lead to unfair competition between non-compliant companies and compliant companies, who invest financially in achieving compliance and then must suffer the negative externalities caused by free-riding. Most importantly, however, without compliance with EU legislation on energy and the environment, it will not be possible to achieve Europe’s 2020 goals by 2020.
In this regard, EPEE members continuously work to raise awareness on the need for a robust market surveillance program for Europe. EPEE organizes events on both the national and the European level and calls upon EU and national decision-makers to ensure compliance with EU legislation.
More on EPEE's views on Market Surveillance: