The Internal Market Information System (IMI) is an IT application that connects national, regional and local authorities across the EU (EEA). IMI allows authorities to communicate quickly and easily with their counterparts abroad.
- a multilingual search function to help authorities identify their counterparts in other EEA countries
- pre-translated questions, answers and forms for requesting and sharing information, in the context of administrative cooperation supporting the Single Market
- an integrated machine translation service for translating any free text included as part of an information exchange
- a tracking mechanism allowing authorities to follow the progress of their information exchanges
IMI and the Single Market – why does it matter?
In the area of the Single Market, Union laws set out mutual assistance and administrative cooperation obligations for Member States in order to make free movement of people, businesses and goods a reality. IMI helps authorities across the European Economic Area to fulfil these obligations in multiple policy areas. It has succeeded in modernising cross-border administrative cooperation and improving the functioning of the Single Market. Although the end-users of IMI are public authorities at national, regional and local level, the beneficiaries of this improved cooperation are businesses and citizens who are the subject of the information exchanges.
- Almost 300 000 information exchanges have been sent through IMI since its launch in 2008. Use of the system increases steadily, year on year.
- The overall performance of countries in using IMI during 2020 has noticeably increased compared to the previous year.
- As of 2020 IMI is used for 2 new policy areas, namely for the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) network and European Judicial (EJN) in civil and commercial matters, contributing further to the rationalisation of IT tools provided by the Commission.
Overall performance (all 5 indicators combined)
| Speed in accepting requests (% accepted within 7 days)||≥ 80||60 – 79||< 60|
| Speed in answering requests (avg. no. of days taken to answer)||< 16||16 – 25||> 25|
| Requests answered by the date agreed in IMI (%)||≥ 80||60 – 79||< 60|
| Timeliness of replies as rated by counterparts (% of negative evaluations)||< 5||5 – 14||≥ 15|
| Efforts made as rated by counterparts (% of negative evaluations)||< 5||5 – 14||≥ 15|
The performance indicators are based on information requests sent in the following legal areas: Professional Qualifications, Services, Posting of Workers and Patients’ Rights.
In 2021, the Commission aims to focus its efforts on preparing the implementation of IMI for various areas, most notably for:
- better enforcement of the posting rules of drivers involved in European road transport by digitalising the information exchanges therefore making these more efficient (Directive 2020/1057 and Regulation 2020/1055);
- additional administrative cooperation provisions set out in the Firearms Directive (Council Directive 2021/555/EEC) related to refusals to grant authorisations to acquire or possess firearms
The Commission will also work on the “new look” IMI information request forms for existing legal areas and further improve user support.
Facts and figures
- Almost 35 000 public sector officials in over 12 000 public authorities are registered as users in IMI.
- 81 700 exchanges took place in 2020, representing a 47% increase compared to 2019. The total number of exchanges sent through IMI reached now 296 000.
- The European Professional Card continued to deliver excellent results, although only available for five professions (pharmacists, nurses, physiotherapists, real estate agents and mountain guides), with 1828 decisionsbeing taken on EPC applications in 2020.
- 8400 alerts were sent in IMI in the area of Professional Qualifications.
- A total of 44 600 notifications were sent through IMI in 2020.
Statistics on the use of IMI
For more statistics, see the IMI website.
- IMInow supports 67 cross-border procedures in 17 legal areas, replacing the need for at least 17 different IT systems
- As of 17th January 2020, the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network uses IMI, replacing thus a former IT system. Read more
- In 2020, a pilot project was launched in IMI for exchanging information and cooperation between the contact points of the European Judicial Network (EJN) in civil and commercial matters.
In which areas is IMI now used?
- Professional qualifications
- Posted workers (see also)
- Cross-border road transport
of euro cash
- Patients’ rights in cross-border
- E-commerce (pilot project)
- Train driving licences (pilot project)
- Public procurement (pilot project)
- Cultural objects
- European Professional Card
- Non-road mobile machinery
- General Data Protection Regulation
- Public Documents Regulation
- Firearms transfer authorisations
- Consumer Protection Cooperation (pilot project)
- European Judicial Network (EJN) in civil and commercial matters (pilot project)