Market surveillance

European machinery industry’s competitiveness must not become collateral victim of deadlock over “marking of origin”

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The EU machinery industry warns that its competitiveness could suffer a serious setback from the EU’s continued failure to introduce a better market surveillance system – a system considered essential to fight unfair competition in the Single Market caused by the entry and circulation of non-compliant products. As continuing discord between EU Member States on another topic – the marking of origin – has paralyzed any further progress on the draft Regulation on the Market Surveillance of Products (MSR), chances that the proposal will still be adopted in the current parliamentary term before April have now virtually dropped to zero.
Representing the EU machinery alliance (CECE, CECIMO, CEMA, EUROMAP and FEM), Filip Geerts said: “Our industries are the collateral victims of a political deadlock in the Council on a subject that is actually not related to market surveillance. Meanwhile, non-compliant products in the Single Market continue to harm industrial competitiveness. This does not only hold back industry’s growth potential, but also harms users’ safety, the environment as well as progress to meet the EU’s energy and climate targets. This is an unacceptable situation in light of the fact that it comes only days after European Commission’s Communication on an Industrial Renaissance was meant to make industrial competitiveness a top EU priority.”
Restoring the level playing field in the Single Market through an improved market surveillance system will enable a shift from price competition to a competition on quality, reliability and resource-efficiency, which is a pre-requisite for the success of Europe’s high-value added industries amidst global competitive pressures.
Despite the fact that the European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee already adopted its report on the MSR proposal in October last year, Member States have still not managed to agree on a common negotiation position. This is due to a fundamental disagreement over the marking of origin – a provision included in the draft Regulation on General Product Safety (GPSR). Since the MSR and GPSR proposals were bundled in one single legislative package, the destiny of the MSR is invariably linked to Member Sates reaching an agreement on this provision.
If negotiations do not resume, the European Parliament is likely to vote on the dossier in plenary in April 2014. However, a lack of agreement between Member States will make it extremely difficult to find a compromise between the two co-legislators. In the best case, the adoption of the proposal will be deferred to the end of 2014.