As responsible manufacturers and exporters, it is wise to stay current on regulatory requirements regardless of the market into which you ship. As is true in all global markets, standards change, regulations update, and new requirements are introduced.
For Europe the requirements have not changed in principle – to quote Europa (Europe’s premier resource website)–
“Manufacturers play a crucial role in ensuring that products placed on the extended Single Market of the EEA are safe. They are responsible for checking that their products meet EU safety, health, and environmental protection requirements. It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to carry out the conformity assessment, set up the technical file, issue the EU declaration of conformity, and affix the CE marking to a product. Only then can this product be traded on the EEA market.” Click here to learn how to get more Europa References
The principles have not changed but the underlying requirements to deem a product compliant with all applicable Directives, Regulations, and don’t forget Country specific requirements are constantly being updated. Our primary focus being exporting to the European Union, we attempt to keep ahead of the issues which may cause our readers concern. The following is a routine update to alert you to some pending changes and reviews which are in the works.
1. If you are supplying into the EU and/or if your products come into contact with Food or Drink ensure that you have checked compliance of the chemicals, plastics, dyes and packaging. Also and – as importantly – please carefully review and comply with the legislation on “Materials in Contact with Food”. This is a good example of wherein exist specific national legislation with which you must also comply over and above the applicable Directives.
2. Chemical Watch hosted an industry meeting on May 7th & 8th 2018 during which many industry experts expressed concern that the Food Contact Minerals (FCM) regulations were out of date. The European Commission is reviewing Reach Regulations in conjunction with the industry and how to improve the FCM area commencing in the fall of 2018.
3. The European Commission continues to focus on improving market surveillance along with ways to address the increasing number of non-compliant products on the Union market.
4. Brexit Update – As Brexit currently stands: the UK will leave the EU by the 29th March 2019 but the United Kingdom will remain a full member of the EU until the formal exit. However, it is highly likely that the UK will maintain a very similar framework to the EU’s Single Internal Market so as not to cause undue hardship for manufacturers.
In addition, as it is currently positioned, the Upper House of Parliament known as the House of Lords, is not inclined to vote favorably for Teresa May’s exit plan. The Lords cannot legally stop the progress of Article 50 withdrawal but they can make it a major news highlight which the government certainly does not want.
5. The EU Commission is proposing a new Regulation on Compliance and Enforcement which would:
Replace the market surveillance elements of RAMS
Reduce the number of non-compliant goods on the Single Market
Increase powers for market surveillance authorities and introduce new ones
Increase resources available to market surveillance authorities
Seek to deter non-compliant economic operators
Among other things, this regulation would introduce a new definition – “economic operator” – means any other natural or legal person established in the Union and other than a distributor, who warehouses, packages, and ships products to or within the Union market (article 3(h)).
Also proposed are “Single Liaison Offices” to coordinate Market Surveillance within Member States as well as Increased powers for market surveillance authorities, e.g.
1. To carry out on-site inspections
2. To take samples of products free of charge in order to detect non-compliance and obtain evidence
3. To impose penalties on an economic operator, including fines or periodic penalty payments for non-compliance or for failure to comply with measures taken by market surveillance authorities.
4. Financing and recover of costs “in relation to instances of non-compliance”.
This new proposed Regulation on Compliance and Enforcement Proposal was presented on 23rd January 2018. Working groups have been formed and are working with the Commission’s aim for the proposal to apply from
1st of January 2020.
We will keep you up to date as we learn more. If you are not on our email list, CLICK TO sign up here:
For more information and how to manage Europa sources, try (Designer Guide Series: CE Marking from Novice to Expert, by Gregg Kervill) and find it here on Amazon KIndle.