Machinery Trade Groups Focus on Market Surveillance

Editor: Douglas Sellers

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An industry-support platform was launched at a one-day conference on market surveillance of machinery, which was hosted by the European Commission in November 2011. The platform is a joint initiative of seven European trade associations representing machine tools as capital goods, one of which was CECIMO:.

Aimed at market surveillance authorities and market operators, the platform is designed specifically for the capital goods market and consists of a resource database to assess compliance of production machinery with relevant regulatory requirements of the European Union (EU). It reflects the industry’s commitment to playing an active role in improving market surveillance for machinery. This idea is embedded in a manifesto that was signed during the conference, which offers 10 key recommendations for effective market surveillance.

The conference focus on capital goods highlighted a shortcoming in the European internal market: all too often, it is consumer goods that receive the headlines. The market surveillance system is seen as predominantly reactive rather than preventive, and the result is that a significant number of noncompliant machines are placed on the EU market.

Conference speakers from various machinery sectors explained how a deficient market surveillance system has an adverse effect on competition, environmental protection, innovation, jobs and the health and safety of machine operators. In addition, the conference provided an opportunity to consider ways to improve the situation. DG TAXUD focused on the central role customs authorities must play in preventing imports of noncompliant products, for example. Best-practice examples from within the EU and from its close neighbours in the European Free Trade Association were presented.

The machinery industry in Europe has repeatedly stressed the importance of market surveillance. Although legally, EU member states must carry out surveillance to make sure that marketed products respect EU rules and regulations, industry is committed to working with the authorities and providing assistance, whether in the form of technical support (as provided by the platform) or alerting authorities to the presence of noncompliant machines entering or circulating within the internal market. A joint effort should result in effective market surveillance and thus both machine safety and a level playing field in the EU.

For further information::

CECIMO–European Association of the Machine Tool Industries Brussels, Belgium Tel. +32 2 5027090 Fax +32 2 5026082