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 is crucial for detecting the products that do not comply to the applicable legislation and for taking the appropriate measures. For this purpose, the European Commission offers to the Member States a comprehensive cooperation platform (ICSMS – Information and Communication System for Market Surveillance). Thus the national authorities are able to exchange information on non-compliant products (e.g. tests results, information on accidents, measures taken etc.) and coordinate their actions more efficiently. The significant number of the detected non-compliances (as percentage of the total number of checks) shows that thanks to the tool and their closer cooperation, national authorities are able to better target their controls towards cases with a higher probability to detect non-compliances.
The diagrams are based on the data input provided by the national authorities in ICSMS.
Facts and figures
More information on Market Surveillance
More information on market surveillance for products