Market surveillance ensures that products on the EU market do not endanger European consumers and workers. It also ensures the protection of other public interests such as the environment, security and fairness in trade.
It includes actions such as product withdrawals, recalls and the application of sanctions to stop the circulation of non-compliant products and/or bring them into compliance.
The major objective of the Commission is to ensure that EU market surveillance legislation provides:
- clear and uniform rules applying to non-food products and economic operators
- requirements (infrastructure, organisation, legal powers, etc.) to ensure that market surveillance can cope with enforcing EU legislation
- streamlined market surveillance procedures for controlling products within the EU and at its borders (import controls)
- tools to coordinate activities carried out by national surveillance bodies across the EU (e.g. discussion forums, IT databases, and common market surveillance campaigns).
Market surveillance and the single market – why does it matter?
Market surveillance is crucial for the smooth functioning of the single market. It helps to protect:
- consumers and workers against unsafe products
- businesses from unfair competition.
Cooperation among national authorities across the single market is key for detecting the products that do not comply with the applicable legislation and for responding appropriately. For this purpose, national authorities are able to exchange information on non-compliant products (e.g. test results, information on accidents, measures taken) and coordinate their actions more efficiently using a comprehensive cooperation platform (ICSMS – Information and Communication System for Market Surveillance) provided by the European Commission.
Overall the indicators on market surveillance suggest that the number of investigations recorded in the ICSMS is increasing in Member States (with very high growth in sectors such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and motor vehicles), thus improving controls in the single market and creating a stronger basis for cooperation across Member States.
More information on market surveillance
More information on market surveillance for products