New EU market surveillance rules will 'help economy and consumers'

New market surveillance rules will help businesses and member states reduce costs and improve coordination, writes Ashley Fox.

By Ashley Fox

18 Mar 2014

Parliament's ECR group supports the European commission's overarching objective of simplifying existing legislation in the field of market surveillance.

This clarification of the rules should help business, as well as member states and their market surveillance authorities to better coordinate and reduce the costs of implementation and enforcement.

Although the ECR group has reservations on some particular provisions where the benefits are not obvious or have potential to disproportionately increase burdens on businesses (for example, harmonised penalties), we were able to come to a broad agreement during negotiations in committee.

I believe we now have a compromise market surveillance text that groups from all sides of the house want to see adopted as soon as possible as it will help the economy and consumers.

Unfortunately, due to some controversial provisions in the consumer product safety report, the market surveillance file is now being blocked in the council. I believe that we are not serving the businesses and consumers of Europe if we are not able to find a pragmatic solution here.

Manufactures are aghast when they hear that the important and generally-welcomed market surveillance regulation is being held up by problems in a separate piece of legislation.

In my view, the European parliament should amend the text to take out the politically contentious points that prevent the files going forward. Specifically, the origin or 'made in' labelling is inhibiting progress on these files.

This measure has nothing to do with consumer safety. The commission should never have included 'made in' labelling in this proposal and the parliament should now take it out.

Read the most recent articles written by Ashley Fox - European commission 'turns a blind eye' to Gibraltar