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, EU laws set out mutual assistance and administrative cooperation obligations for Member States in order to make the 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 people who are the subject of the information exchanges.
EU laws set out mutual assistance and administrative cooperation obligations for Member States in order to make the free movement of people, businesses and goods a reality in the single market. 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 people who are the subject of the information exchanges.
- In 2021, IMI supported 67 cross-border procedures in 17 legal areas, replacing the need for at least 17 different IT systems.
- Almost 378 000 information exchanges have been sent through IMI since its launch in 2008. Use of the system increases steadily year on year.
- Overall, the average performance of the IMI users in 2021 remains similar to 2020. The percentage of requests replied within deadline increased and partners’ satisfaction with timeliness and efforts remained stable. There was a slight decrease in the average percentage of requests accepted within 1 week and in the answering speed.
- 18 countries had an above-average aggregated performance for the counted indicators, while 10 were at average for the aggregated indicators level and 2 countries were below average.
- During 2021, work was undertaken to launch, in January 2022, 2 new IMI policy areas. These were: (i) the enforcement of the posting rules for operators and drivers in the road transport sector (“Mobility Package I”); and (ii) additional administrative cooperation provisions on refusals to grant authorisations to acquire or possess firearms.
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.
The Commission focuses its efforts on:
- continuing to implement IMI in new areas or improving how it works in the current ones, where needed
- improving IMI’s look and feel by introducing a new user interface
- ensuring the system’s technical robustness by performing required security or technical upgrades.
Facts and figures
- Almost 35 000 public sector officials in over 13 000 public authorities are registered as users in IMI.
- 81 980 exchanges took place in 2021, a similar number to 2020. The total number of exchanges sent through IMI now reached 378 000.
- The European Professional Card (EPC) continued to deliver excellent results, although it is only available for five professions (pharmacists, nurses, physiotherapists, real estate agents and mountain guides), with 1 846 decisions being taken on EPC applications in 2020.
- 7 853 alerts relating to professional qualifications were sent through IMI.
- 43 869 notifications were sent through IMI in 2021.
Statistics on the use of IMI
For more statistics, see the IMI website.
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 - discontinued in Q2 2021)
- Cultural objects
- European Professional Card
- Non-road mobile machinery
- General Data Protection Regulation
- Public Documents Regulation
- Firearms transfer authorisations (pilot project)
- Consumer protection cooperation (pilot project)
- European Judicial Network (EJN) in civil and commercial matters (pilot project)