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Internal Market MEPs strike a deal on a set of Product directives

IMCO Press release - Customs06-06-2013 - 14:12

A provisional deal on the updated eight product safety directives, such as lifts, explosives for civil use and electrical equipments, was reached by Internal Market MEPs and Council negotiators on Wednesday evening. This deal means clearer labels for consumers, less red tape for companies and better market surveillance.

"I am very happy that the final deal was reached on this legislative package, which consists of 1000 pages and was negotiated over 18 months. The best news is that modernised and safer rules will be quickly put into place for a wide range of products covering almost all consumer electronics, such as phones or irons, lifts as well as explosives or other products intended for only professional use. Consumers will receive better protection, as health-related impacts of new products will be more strictly controlled. European producers will be protected in a more consistent manner against rogue importers of dangerous products from third countries. I made sure that a balanced solution was agreed upon on a number of legal provisions", said the rapporteur Zuzana Roithova (EPP, CZ).

The package consisting of eight product directives establishes the harmonised rules on making the following available on the market: non-automatic weighing instruments, measuring instruments, simple pressure vessels, lifts, explosives for civil uses, electrical equipments, equipments intended for use in explosive atmospheres and apparatus with electromagnetic compatibility requirements. The alignment of these product directives to a New Legislative Framework sets the common rules for product conformity requirements, accreditation and market surveillance.

Clear labels

MEPs ensured that the instruction and information accompanying the mentioned products, including their labels, should be clear, understandable and intelligible.

In order to increase transparency, economic operators will be encouraged to include on their products not only postal, but also their website address, according to the deal. In addition, the contact details of economic operators shall be put in a language easily understood by end-users and market surveillance authorities.

Reducing red tape

Parliament's negotiators achieved that economic operators will be able to benefit from less red tape by providing the possibility for them to submit, if asked by the market surveillance authorities, all documentation necessary to demonstrate that lifts and the electrical equipment of other products from the package, comply with relevant EU law not only in paper form, but also through the electronic means. It would also apply to EU Declaration of Conformity - a document constituting a proof that the product is in line with essential safety requirements.

MEPs have also created the possibility for manufactures of the measuring instruments to choose if an external institution or internal accredited in-house body would control if their products meet declared level of quality. This possibility will allow manufactures to receive detailed feedback much more quickly in the production process to improve their products.

Better market surveillance

MEPs also propose to increase the market surveillance in electronic commerce by demanding that all obligations imposed on economic operators by these directives should also apply in the case of distance selling.

The deal also allows equipping market surveillance authorities with additional tools to sanction those economic operators that do not respect the new rules.

Next steps

The provisionally agreed text still needs to be adopted formally by COREPER and the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. The Committee will probably vote on the deal before the summer break, thus preparing for the vote in full House in October.

N.B.: This is an informal message intended to help journalists covering the work of the European Parliament. It is neither an official press release nor a comprehensive record of proceedings.

REF. : 20130606IPR11206
Updated: ( 12-06-2013 - 11:34)