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Mutual recognition of goods

25-04-2019

The revision of the regulation on mutual recognition of goods was announced in the 2015 Single Market Strategy. The Commission adopted its proposal in December 2017, which aimed to revise previous rules dating from 2008. This regulation aims to improve the rules governing the trade of goods in the single market. Intra-EU trade remains twice as big as extra-EU trade, and is rising constantly. This is, in large part, due to free movement of goods in the EU, which is based on either harmonised product ...

The revision of the regulation on mutual recognition of goods was announced in the 2015 Single Market Strategy. The Commission adopted its proposal in December 2017, which aimed to revise previous rules dating from 2008. This regulation aims to improve the rules governing the trade of goods in the single market. Intra-EU trade remains twice as big as extra-EU trade, and is rising constantly. This is, in large part, due to free movement of goods in the EU, which is based on either harmonised product rules at the EU level or, where there are no harmonised rules, the principle of mutual recognition under which goods lawfully marketed in one Member State may be sold in another Member State. The proposal addressed a number of shortcomings in the application of the mutual recognition principle. A provisional agreement between the co-legislators was reached on 22 November 2018. The text was adopted in plenary in February 2019. The new rules will improve collaboration among national authoritites and enhance the role of national product contact points. They will introduce a faster problem-solving procedure for disputes between companies and national authorities, as well as a new voluntary declaration to be filled in by economic operators to prove lawful marketing in an EU Member State. The new rules will apply from 19 April 2020. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Revision of consumer law directives (including injunctions):the 'New Deal for Consumers'

17-04-2018

Following the creation of an internal market, in which goods should be able to circulate freely to the benefit of producers, traders and consumers alike, the digital revolution has both increased the chances for growth in trade and highlighted the existing obstacles, such as differences in the details of consumer protection legislation. Following an extensive evaluation exercise focused on a number of EU directives adopted over the years, the European Commission is keen to simplify, streamline and ...

Following the creation of an internal market, in which goods should be able to circulate freely to the benefit of producers, traders and consumers alike, the digital revolution has both increased the chances for growth in trade and highlighted the existing obstacles, such as differences in the details of consumer protection legislation. Following an extensive evaluation exercise focused on a number of EU directives adopted over the years, the European Commission is keen to simplify, streamline and modernise the existing EU consumer rules to ensure that they are future-proof, as well as to facilitate the necessary coordination and effective action from national authorities and public enforcement bodies. In its 2018 work programme, the European Commission announced that it would be introducing a package of legislative proposals including a wide range of proposed directives. The package is aimed at filling a number of very specific gaps in current EU consumer law, while also taking due account of ongoing legislative procedures related to online and offline sales of goods and digital content. This implementation appraisal aims to cover all the directives (cf. tables 1-7) that form the basis of the area targeted by the package.

Mutual recognition of goods lawfully marketed in another Member State

06-04-2018

An initial appraisal of the impact assessment accompanying the Commission proposal clearly defines the problem, as well as the general and specific objectives. Operational objectives appear to be relevant and achievable, even though they appear not to be entirely set according to the recommendations included in the better regulation toolbox. The IA presents a reasonable range of options and choses a combination of soft law measures and legislative changes (options 2 and 4). Among the measures proposed ...

An initial appraisal of the impact assessment accompanying the Commission proposal clearly defines the problem, as well as the general and specific objectives. Operational objectives appear to be relevant and achievable, even though they appear not to be entirely set according to the recommendations included in the better regulation toolbox. The IA presents a reasonable range of options and choses a combination of soft law measures and legislative changes (options 2 and 4). Among the measures proposed, the introduction of a declaration of compliance could have benefited from further substantiation of its added value. While an SME test was conducted, the analysis regarding the impact on competitiveness is largely missing. The Commission has consulted a broad range of stakeholders, whose views have been extensively analysed and illustrated. The research, analysis, and supporting evidence included or referenced in the IA provide ample and detailed insights on the different issues considered, making the overall analysis, and the assessments of the retained options, reasonably sound.

Externe auteur

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General arrangements for excise duty

05-03-2018

To ensure proper functioning of the internal market, Directive 2008/118/EC and related pieces of EU law seek harmonisation of the general conditions for charging excise duty on alcohol, tobacco and energy products. Disparities in the application of these rules can result in tax-induced movements of goods, loss of revenue and fraud. The REFIT initiative on general arrangements for excise duty, announced in the Commission's work programme for 2018, intends to further harmonise and simplify provisions ...

To ensure proper functioning of the internal market, Directive 2008/118/EC and related pieces of EU law seek harmonisation of the general conditions for charging excise duty on alcohol, tobacco and energy products. Disparities in the application of these rules can result in tax-induced movements of goods, loss of revenue and fraud. The REFIT initiative on general arrangements for excise duty, announced in the Commission's work programme for 2018, intends to further harmonise and simplify provisions for the export, import and transit of excise goods, inter alia through automation of movement control procedures.

Smart Border 2.0 Avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland for customs control and the free movement of persons

26-02-2018

One of the most politically-sensitive aspects of the current ‘Brexit’ negotiations is the issue of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. In many respects, the Irish border is unique, with some 200 possible crossing points along the 500km border. Managing such a porous border in the event that the UK, following Brexit, does not participate in a customs union with the EU, thus becoming an external EU border, presents significant challenges for the EU and UK alike. In order to ...

One of the most politically-sensitive aspects of the current ‘Brexit’ negotiations is the issue of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. In many respects, the Irish border is unique, with some 200 possible crossing points along the 500km border. Managing such a porous border in the event that the UK, following Brexit, does not participate in a customs union with the EU, thus becoming an external EU border, presents significant challenges for the EU and UK alike. In order to analyse the various options, on 26 November 2017, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs organised a workshop for the AFCO Committee to examine this question. As part of this, Lars Karlsson, a former director at the World Customs Organisation, proposed a solution in his paper ‘Smart Border 2.0’. This at a glance provides a short summary of the paper.

Geo-blocking and discrimination among customers in the EU

02-02-2018

Geo-blocking practices commonly restrict cross-border sales of tangible goods as well as of electronically supplied services and electronically delivered content services in the EU. In May 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation that prohibits online sellers of tangible goods, and of some types of electronically supplied services, from discriminating among customers based on their nationality or place of residence within the European Union. In November 2017, after protracted negotiations ...

Geo-blocking practices commonly restrict cross-border sales of tangible goods as well as of electronically supplied services and electronically delivered content services in the EU. In May 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation that prohibits online sellers of tangible goods, and of some types of electronically supplied services, from discriminating among customers based on their nationality or place of residence within the European Union. In November 2017, after protracted negotiations, the co-legislators agreed to ban some types of unjustified geo-blocking practices. However, the ban will not apply initially to content and services protected under copyright (for instance, e-books and downloads of music and audiovisual content). At the request of the Parliament, a review clause has been introduced which requires the Commission to re-examine the situation two years after the entry into force of the regulation.

E-commerce: Ban on unjustified geo-blocking and discrimination practices among customers

31-01-2018

In May 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation that prohibits online sellers of physical goods and of some types of electronically supplied services and content from discriminating among customers based on their nationality or place of residence within the European Union. The Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal during the February I plenary session.

In May 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation that prohibits online sellers of physical goods and of some types of electronically supplied services and content from discriminating among customers based on their nationality or place of residence within the European Union. The Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal during the February I plenary session.

Free movement of goods within the EU single market

19-01-2018

The free movement of goods is one of the four fundamental freedoms of the EU – together with services, capital and people – and a cornerstone of the single market. The rationale of an open market throughout the EU has always been to assist economic growth and competitiveness and therefore promote employment and prosperity. Legislation on the single market for goods (based mainly on Article 28 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, TFEU) aims at ensuring that products placed on the ...

The free movement of goods is one of the four fundamental freedoms of the EU – together with services, capital and people – and a cornerstone of the single market. The rationale of an open market throughout the EU has always been to assist economic growth and competitiveness and therefore promote employment and prosperity. Legislation on the single market for goods (based mainly on Article 28 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, TFEU) aims at ensuring that products placed on the EU market conform to high health, safety and environmental requirements. Once a product is sold legally in the EU, it should circulate without barriers to trade, with a minimum of administrative burden

EU single market:Boosting growth and jobs in the EU

22-11-2017

The single market constitutes the largest barrier-free, common economic space in the industrialised world, encompassing over half a billion citizens in an economy with a gross domestic product (GDP) of some €13 trillion. Since its creation the single market has added 2.2 % to the EU gross domestic product (GDP), increased employment by 2.8 million, and promoted inward investment into the EU economy. Delivering and completing the existing single market could potentially allow for a €651 billion additional ...

The single market constitutes the largest barrier-free, common economic space in the industrialised world, encompassing over half a billion citizens in an economy with a gross domestic product (GDP) of some €13 trillion. Since its creation the single market has added 2.2 % to the EU gross domestic product (GDP), increased employment by 2.8 million, and promoted inward investment into the EU economy. Delivering and completing the existing single market could potentially allow for a €651 billion additional benefit per year.

European Commission guidelines on dual quality of branded food products

07-11-2017

On 26 September 2017, the European Commission published a notice laying out guidelines on the application of EU food and consumer protection law to issues of dual quality of food products. This legally non-binding notice follows tests in seven 'new' EU Member States that compared the composition and sensory qualities of branded products sold in those countries with some of the 'old' Member States. The tests showed that some of the products included less of the main ingredient, included ingredients ...

On 26 September 2017, the European Commission published a notice laying out guidelines on the application of EU food and consumer protection law to issues of dual quality of food products. This legally non-binding notice follows tests in seven 'new' EU Member States that compared the composition and sensory qualities of branded products sold in those countries with some of the 'old' Member States. The tests showed that some of the products included less of the main ingredient, included ingredients that were considered to be less healthy and of poorer quality, or had different taste, consistency, and other sensory characteristics. Manufacturers have questioned the reliability of the tests, claiming the differences were the result of adjusting their products to local tastes or using local ingredients and different places of manufacture. The Commission notice acknowledges that producers have a right to differentiate their products, but warns that consumers must not be misled. It clarifies the provisions of EU legislation which should enable the national authorities in Member States to act. It introduces the notion of a 'product of reference', against which consumer expectations are to be measured. Consumers need to be adequately informed if a product differs from their expectations, as when inadequate information leads them to buy a product they would not otherwise buy, such dual quality may be contrary to the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. Members of the European Parliament have regularly spoken out against the practice of dual quality of food, with the European Parliament asking the Commission to verify the extent of the problem as early as 2013.

Toekomstige activiteiten

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State of the Union: The view from regions and cities
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17-10-2019
What Europe is Thinking: The latest Pew survey of opinion in 14 EU Member States
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