Market surveillance

EHI position and engagement

Through its members, EHI is strongly committed to promoting technically advanced, safe and energy efficient heating systems.

The association believes in the need for adequate enforcement of existing and new EU legislation, with the aim to reach policy potential and targets, as well as ensuring a level playing field for all economic actors. The presence of non-compliant products strongly damages the European single market and negatively impacts the environment, consumers and industry alike.

EHI advocates for suitable market surveillance framework at European and national level, aimed at verifying that products placed on the market meet the relevant requirements, including a level-playing field for market operators through effective and proportionate measures against non-compliant products.

EHI believes that compliance with energy efficiency and environmental criteria is just as important to European consumers and industry as health and safety aspects. EHI therefore calls for an adequate implementation and enforcement of upcoming ecodesing and energy labelling requirements for the sector it represents.

EHI welcomes the European decision-makers’ initiatives to improve market surveillance as well as the increased cooperation between Member States authorities. EHI actively contributes to the national market surveillance authorities’ efforts to help deliver the economic and environmental benefits of the Ecodesign directive. For instance, EHI is part of the Ecopliant project’s Advisory Group, together with several other stakeholder organisations (CEDED, EPEE, Digital Europe, etc).

Moreover, by strongly advocating for mandatory third party verification of all heating appliances, our industry wishes to establish a framework of reference for compliant products even before their placing on the market. The already recognised energy saving potential of our sector (by far the largest out of the energy related products covered by ecodesign and energy labelling regulations) is much too important for enforcement to be left only at the discretion of post-market actions.

Recent developments

In April 2015, the EEPLIANT project was launched in order to continue the efforts of the previous Ecopliant project. While Ecopliant focused on Ecodesign legislation, the new EEPLIANT project centers on both Ecodesign and Energy Labelling. EHI is part of the EEPLIANT project’s Advisory Board, which is of great importance to the heating industry, since one of the working packages focuses on surface and water heaters. 

The key objective of EEPLIANT is to help deliver the intended economic and environment benefits of the EU Energy Labelling and Ecodesign legislations by increasing the rates of compliance with the EU energy efficiency requirements. This will be achieved through coordinating the monitoring, verification and enforcement activities of 13 Market Surveillance Authorities across the EU Single Market.

In January 2015, several industry associations together with EHI, signed a Joined Industry Call for Action regarding market surveillance in Europe. The industry scalled for a more strengthened market surveillance by focusing on the following three areas: (1) Strengthening the pan-EU cooperation in market surveillance; (2) Intensifying cooperation among national market surveillance authorities; (3) Increasingly involving industry in market surveillance activities. Please see document attached.

On 13 February 2013, the European Commission proposed a new market surveillance package, made up of several documents, among which a proposal for a Regulation on market surveillance of products COM(2013)75. The file was handled by the European Parliament’s IMCO committee (Internal Market and Consumer Protection, MEP rapporteur Ms Sirpa PIETIKÄINEN). The IMCO report was approved in first reading by the EP plenary on 15 April 2014.

Background

Market surveillance – a national competence

In accordance with the subsidiarity principle, Member States are responsible for market surveillance activities on their own territory, even if EU legislation lays down specific requirements for the organisation of market surveillance. All market surveillance activities are carried out by national market surveillance authorities (MSAs). Great discrepancies exist across the EU among the different MSAs (their administrative organisation, their financial and human resources, effectiveness of actions, etc).

Market surveillance is key to the functioning of the single market by:

  • Enforcing legislation - stopping circulation of non-compliant products
  • Establishing a level-playing field for economic actors / protecting from unfair competition
  • Protecting European consumers and workforce

EU level cooperation between Market Surveillance Authorities

Rapid Information System (RAPEX) is an alert system that facilitates the rapid exchange of information among Member States and the European Commission,  in the event that a surveillance authority spots a product which presents a risk and could have an effect outside the territory of its Member State. Since 1 January 2010 it has been used to notify serious risks presented by consumer and professional products. Weekly notification reports are available online.

The European Commission has created and facilitates discussions within Directive-specific Administrative Co-operation Groups (AdCos), composed of representatives of Member States market surveillance authorities. pursue the following objectives: 1) to achieve of a uniformly high level of enforcement of the relevant EU legislation; 2) to exchange information between Member States' authorities concerning the national market surveillance mechanisms and the adopted solutions; 3) to reduce the overlapping of national surveillance operations; 4) to assure good market surveillance practices, to exchange views and solve practical problems arising during surveillance phases. The group has been tackling the implementation of specific directives with focus on health and safety issues (PED, EMC, LVD), but more recently also turned towards energy and environmental aspects (e.g. ecodesign / energy labelling).

More recently, in parallel to the ADCO framework, a consortium of most active MSAs is coordinating a European-funded project (Ecopliant) specifically on strengthening market surveillance under the Ecodesign Directive. The most important issues covered by the project are linked to establishing best practices and to data sharing (for monitoring, verification, enforcement) among MSAs.