Swedish Market Surveillance Plan

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1 Swedish Market Surveillance Plan 2014 Adopted by the Swedish Market Surveillance Council on 22 November 2013

2 Contents 1 Introduction General information about market surveillance This year s national market surveillance plan The Swedish organisation for market surveillance General The Market Surveillance Council Activities Organise a continuous exchange of experiences Support public authorities that exercise market surveillance Information and contacts... 5 Annex The market surveillance authorities and their areas of responsibility... 7

3 1 Introduction 1.1. General information about market surveillance Market surveillance shall safeguard satisfactory protection of consumers, public health, environment and other aspects of public interest protection and prevent unfair competition between companies. Market surveillance comprise the activities carried out and measures taken by responsible public authorities to ensure that products on the market comply with current legislation and that they are assessed and marked as prescribed. The authorities shall take action against those economic actors whose products do not comply with the requirements. Measures that may come into question are, for example, a ban on sales, withdrawal of products from the market or recall of products from end users. Market surveillance is carried out both in the form of planned inspections at manufacturers, importers or retailers, or as a reaction to reported accidents, complaints from the general public or warnings from public authorities in other countries. Market surveillance does not cover pre-market inspection or inspection of products in use This year s national market surveillance plan Each member state of the EU shall draw up a national market surveillance plan. In Sweden, the Market Surveillance Council has been given this task by means of Swedish Ordinance (2005:893) on Market Surveillance of Goods. The national plan is supplemented by sectorspecific market surveillance plans, drawn up by each market surveillance authority. This year s national plan focuses on joint actions by public authorities to make the Swedish market surveillance and the Market Surveillance Council more effective and also more visible. 2. The Swedish organisation for market surveillance 2.1. General The Swedish market surveillance is carried out by around 20 public authorities and 290 municipalities. The public authorities are in most cases also the regulatory authorities for the products or product characteristics for which they have market surveillance responsibility. In the Ordinance (2005:893) on Market Surveillance of Goods, the Government has specially indicated 15 government authorities to be responsible for market surveillance. The authorities, and their areas of responsibility, are listed in the annex. These authorities report to nine different Government ministries. The Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment, Swedac, has the overall responsibility for coordinating the Swedish market surveillance. This responsibility includes chairmanship and secretariat for the Market Surveillance Council, a body consisting of the 15 1

4 market surveillance agencies above, as well as the Swedish Customs and the National Board of Trade. The task also includes serving as the Swedish representative in the European Commission s expert working groups for market surveillance issues, such as IMP-MSG (Internal Market for Products-Market Surveillance Group) and IMP-ICSMS (Internal Market for Products- Information and Communication System for Market Surveillance). Swedac is the national administrator for ICSMS. The National Board of Trade is the contact point in accordance with Ordinance (2009:52) on Information Procedures for the Implementation of Mutual Recognition of Technical Rules for Products, which complements EU Regulation 764/2008. The Swedish Consumer Agency has the general responsibility for the Product Safety Act (2004:451), which together with the Product Safety Ordinance (2004:469) implements the EU Directive on General Product Safety (2001/95/EC). The Swedish Consumer Agency is also the contact point for Rapex and has coordinating responsibility towards other market surveillance authorities that belong to the Rapex network. Swedac and the Swedish Consumer Agency take part in the general assembly of Prosafe (Product Safety Enforcement Forum of Europe). The Swedish Customs and Swedac participate in the European Commission s expert group on cooperation between customs and market surveillance authorities. Swedac and the National Board of Trade take part in the United Nation s working group for market surveillance issues (UNECE-MARS) The Market Surveillance Council According to the Swedish Ordinance on Market Surveillance of Goods, the tasks of the Market Surveillance Council are to - act as a national coordinating body for issues relating to market surveillance - support public authorities that exercise market surveillance - organise regular exchange of experiences - draw up an action plan for market surveillance that shall be followed up and reported to the Government on an annual basis - be responsible for ensuring that information about market surveillance works well - facilitate contacts between the general public and the business sector and the public authorities The Market Surveillance Council has adopted its own rules of procedure. According to these, the Council shall hold ordinary meetings at least four times per year. A strong focus is on information exchange, legislative work, interpretation and methodology. As in 2013, a large part of the work during 2014 will be spent on the Commission s proposals for new EU Regulations on market surveillance (COM(2013)75 final) and product safety (COM(2013)78 final), as well as on the multiannual action plan for market surveillance (COM(2013)76 final). Besides ordinary meetings, the Council s working procedures include continuous contacts and work, sometimes via working groups that investigate and propose guidelines for and solutions to common questions and problems. The majority of the working groups are of a temporary 2

5 character. However, one working group within the Market Surveillance Council, the Forum for customs relates issues, is permanent. Representatives from the Government Offices coordinating ministries on market surveillance issues, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice, participate in every ordinary meeting of the Market Surveillance Council. Representatives from business and consumer organisations participate in every second ordinary meeting. 3. Activities 3.1. Organise a continuous exchange of experiences One prerequisite for effective market surveillance is that public authorities are given opportunities to meet and exchange experiences. The foundation of the Market Surveillance Council s work is the ordinary meetings. At such Council meetings, information of general interest is communicated, such as legislative work at national and EU level. Various issues of interpretation and implementation are also discussed. - The Market Surveillance Council shall hold at least four ordinary meetings Close and regular dialogue between public authorities and business and consumer organisations is an important part of the authorities market surveillance. - The Market Surveillance Council shall invite representatives from business and consumer organisations to two of the Council s ordinary meetings From a market surveillance perspective, the most effective way is to stop non-compliant products already at the external borders of the EU, i.e. before they are placed on the market. In order to increase the effectiveness of the market surveillance, it is important to develop the cooperation between the customs and the market surveillance authorities, so that in the longer term it becomes a natural part of the national market surveillance work. The Market Surveillance Council s forum for customs related issues is, from this perspective, an important constituent in the development of effective market surveillance in Sweden. - The Market Surveillance Council shall arrange two meetings of the Forum for customs related issues In recent years, annual evaluations have been carried out of the Market Surveillance Council s tasks, working practices, composition, etc., which have provided good input for continuous improvement to achieve the overall goals. A questionnaire sent to all public authorities participating in the Market Surveillance Council, representatives of business and consumer organisations and the Government Offices has formed the basis for this evaluation. These annual evaluations should therefore continue. - The Market Surveillance Council shall carry out an evaluation of its tasks, working practices, composition, etc. 3

6 3.2. Support public authorities that exercise market surveillance Public authorities have differing experiences and perceptions of how market surveillance can, shall and should be carried out. They have to relate to several different regulatory frameworks, which are often overlapping, and sometimes there is also uncertainty of what legislation is applicable. The Government s instructions to the public authorities concerning market surveillance are in many cases unclear. The members of the Market Surveillance Council therefore have an important task in supporting each other in the interpretation and implementation of legislation and in finding the best practice for cooperation. Market surveillance authorities can cooperate in various ways. One way is to investigate specific issues through ad hoc working groups, after which the deliberations, conclusions and proposals are presented to the entire Market Surveillance Council and followed up in a suitable way, usually in the form of guidelines which are then adopted by the Council. As it is not possible to check all products placed on the market, it is necessary to find good methods for prioritising the products the authorities are to check. In the Council s guidelines for drawing up and following up market surveillance plans, there is a section on principles for selection of products to check. Besides various forms of strategic intelligence, analysis of market structures (products, actors, markets, trade flows, etc.) shall also be carried out. The Market Surveillance Council has noticed a need to acquire a more in-depth knowledge about the methodology for market analysis, and appointed a working group to look more closely at this issue at the end of The Market Surveillance Council shall draw up guidelines for market analysis In order to provide an overall and fair picture of Swedish market surveillance and to facilitate international comparisons as well as comparisons over time, it is necessary for the reporting of the results from the activities of authorities, based on indicators and evaluation methodology, to be as uniform as possible. At the end of 2013, a working group was appointed to look more closely at the way in which the results of the authorities market surveillance activities are currently reported, and also to make proposals for improvements. - The Market Surveillance Council shall draw up guidelines for result reporting The free movement of goods on the internal market is one of the fundamental principles of the EU. In order to safeguard fair competition and good consumer protection, European cooperation on market surveillance issues is a prerequisite. 20 actions for safer and compliant products for Europe: a multi-annual action plan for the surveillance of products in the EU (COM(2013) 76 final) was presented by the European Commission as a part of the package on product safety and market surveillance that also includes a proposal for a regulation on market surveillance (COM(2013) 75 final) and a proposal for a regulation on consumer product safety (COM(2013) 78 final). The proposals for regulations have been subject to negotiations in the Council and the Parliament during 2013 and the action plan is continuously discussed in the Commission s expert groups IMP-MSG (Internal Market for Products Market Surveillance Group) and the GPSD Committee (General Product Safety Directive). The implementation of the action plan has already begun and will continue during The Market Surveillance Council shall contribute to the implementation of the EU s multiannual action plan for market surveillance 4

7 Most public authorities participate in administrative cooperation groups at EU level where issues relating to interpretation and implementation of various legal acts concerning products are discussed. Issues of horizontal interest are often raised, and these should become known to the entire Market Surveillance Council. Each authority undertakes to send agendas and reports from such meetings to the secretariat, which, together with the authority concerned, identifies issues that should be taken up for discussion at the Market Surveillance Council s meetings. - The Market Surveillance Council s authorities shall inform about the work in administrative cooperation groups Both national and international cooperation requires well-functioning IT solutions. Since 2008, Swedac has been financing a web-based system that functions as the Market Surveillance Council s internal system for information exchange and document management. The system and the technical support are provided by an external supplier. The system is not felt to be optimal by the authorities, and it is also costly. Swedac shall therefore consult with the other authorities in the Market Surveillance Council to review different alternatives for internal information exchange and document management. - The Market Surveillance Council shall review various solutions for its internal information exchange According to EU Regulation 765/2008 on accreditation and market surveillance, all market surveillance authorities are obliged to enter information about products in ICSMS (International Communication System for Market Surveillance). Swedac, which is the national administrator of ICSMS, shall arrange training courses and all authorities shall ensure that they have the required knowledge to use the system. A need to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of a national interface towards ICSMS has also been identified. This shall be done within the framework of a temporary working group. - The Market Surveillance Council shall hold and take part in ICSMS training courses - The Market Surveillance Council shall investigate the advantages and disadvantages of a national interface towards ICSMS 3.3. Information and contacts In order for the market surveillance authorities to have the best possible prerequisites for carrying out their tasks, it is important that the principals are well informed. The Market Surveillance Council has identified a need to arrange a special meeting for government officials involved, and also one for members of the Swedish parliament and its committee offices to inform them about the market surveillance work of the authorities and to discuss topical issues. - The Market Surveillance Council shall arrange a special meeting for government officials - The Market Surveillance Council shall arrange a special meeting for members of the Swedish parliament and its committee offices Good dialogue between public authorities and the business sector facilitates reaching the common goal of compliant products and fair competition. All market surveillance authorities should maintain continuous contacts with the sector organisations concerned. In addition, there is a need for input at a more general level in terms of product legislation, the obligations of economic operators and the role of the authorities. In 2013, the Market Surveillance Council, 5

8 together with the Swedish Trade Federation and the Federation of Swedish Engineering Companies, arranged a full-day seminar Your Product, Your Responsibility aimed at manufacturers, importers and retailers. The seminar quickly became fully booked, and was much appreciated. Therefore, the Market Surveillance Council has decided to hold this type of seminar on a regular basis. During 2014, the Market Surveillance Council will appoint a working group to prepare a seminar to be held in The Market Surveillance Council shall prepare a seminar about the regulatory framework for products in 2015 Any presentation given at Almedalen, the week of political debate, information and presentations held each summer in Gotland, Sweden, may receive major media attention, which could be advantageous for reaching out with the message. There is also a need to bring heads of public authorities together in order to discuss strategic market surveillance issues. Arranging a seminar during the Almedalen week could both reach a larger audience and make it possible for heads of the authorities that are represented in the Market Surveillance Council to take part. - The Market Surveillance Council shall arrange a market surveillance seminar during the Almedalen week By far the most of the information is today sought on the Internet. It is therefore important to ensure that good and topical information is available on the Market Surveillance Council s common website, The site needs to be improved from a design point of view, but the content also needs to be revised. Most importantly, the website needs to become more alive, with more news and articles to which the media and other interested parties can subscribe. This requires greater commitment from all the participating authorities than has been the case to date. - The Market Surveillance Council shall further develop - The Market Surveillance Council shall draw up guidelines for publication of information on (what, when and how) 6

9 Annex The market surveillance authorities and their areas of responsibility The Swedish Work Environment Authority The Swedish National Board of Housing, Building, and Planning The National Electrical Safety Board The Swedish Energy Agency The Swedish Chemicals Agency The Swedish Consumer Agency The Medical Products Agency The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority The Swedish Broadcasting Authority The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare The Swedish Tax Agency The Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment (Swedac) The Swedish Transport Agency Equipment for use in explosive atmospheres (ATEX), simple pressure vessels, pressure equipment, machinery, personal protective equipment for professional use, scaffolds, ladders and trestles, mine winding gear, protective railings Construction products, subsidiary systems and safety components for cableway installations designed to carry persons, lifts and safety components for lifts, certain hot-water boilers Electrical equipment for use safety in explosive atmospheres (ATEX), electrical equipment within certain voltage limits, electromagnetic compatibility Energy-related products Chemical products (including biocide products and plant protection) and biotechnical organisms; other products (with certain exceptions) in relation to chemical characteristics (Reach, RoHS, Toy Safety Act, etc.) Toys, personal protective equipment for private use, dangerous food imitations, consumer products and services under the General Product Safety Directive (2001/95/EC) Cosmetic products, hygiene products, medicinal products, medical devices Waste that consists of or includes electric or electronic products (WEEE), batteries Radio and teleterminal equipment Equipment for electronic communications networks and services Explosives, pyrotechnical products and certain apparatus for storage of flammable and explosive products, transportable pressure equipment In-house manufactured medical devices within healthcare Cash registers Pre-packaged products, measuring instruments, precious metal work Bicycles, motor vehicles and accessories, spare parts and fuels for these, recreational craft, marine equipment, railway systems 7

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