EU Product Surveillance

Market surveillance

EU Regulation (EC No 765/2008) sets out requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products. The Regulation lays down common rules for accrediting bodies that ensure that non-food products in the European Union (EU) conform to certain requirements. There are separate regulations in relation to food safety.

The Regulation establishes a surveillance system to guarantee a high level of safety of those products and in general their compliance with applicable requirements. It also sets rules in regard to controls on imports from outside the EU. It establishes the general principles for CE marking.

EU Market Surveillance and Import controls

EU countries must:

  • organise and carry out market surveillance to ensure the safety of products;
  • withdraw, restrict or ban products that could damage the health or safety of users and immediately inform the Commission of the action they have taken;
  • establish procedures for handling and dealing with complaints;
  • ensure national market surveillance authorities are appointed and provided with sufficient resources to carry out their tasks;
  • ensure national market surveillance authorities cooperate and exchange information with each other;
  • establish rules on penalties, which may include criminal sanctions, for serious breaches of the law.

Duties of Authorities

Market surveillance authorities must:

  • carry out appropriate checks on a sufficient scale, taking account of risk assessments, complaints and other information;
  • alert users in their own country of any dangers they discover;
  • inform the EU’s rapid information system (RAPEX) of any serious risks;
  • exchange information on product compliance via a common EU database;
  • cooperate with authorities in other EU countries.

National customs authorities may prevent an imported product from being sold in the EU if they believe it poses a serious risk to health, safety, the environment or any other public interest.