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       Conformity Assessment 21/06/2016
EU Internal Market: Rules for Mutual Recognition under scrutiny

EU Internal Market: Rules for Mutual Recognition under scrutiny

Although Regulation 764/2008 introduced the principle of Mutual Recognition (keyword Cassis de Dijon) for the marketing of products in the EU internal market, the EU Commission still sees continued deficits in the non-harmonized area. The Regulation, which lays down procedures relating to the application of certain national technical rules to products that have been lawfully marketed in another Member State, was at that time part of the so-called goods package.

Principle of Mutual Recognition

An economic operator who lawfully marketed a product in one EU country is permitted to sell this product also in other EU countries, without having to adapt to the national regulations of this country. This applies when there are no common European rules that determine how the product must be produced (harmonized area). The other EU countries must in principle recognize these rules for marketing the product.

Exceptions to this principle regard limited restrictions that are justified on grounds of overriding requirements of general public importance, which must be proportionate to the aim pursued.

An essential part of the Internal Market Strategy

When the authorities in Brussels presented their Internal Market Strategy last fall they noted that the free movement of goods in the EU is not working properly for these products. Among the barriers to market entry are national rules or practices, for example, compliance with technical standards, the reference to binding national marks or voluntary standards, which are de facto mandatory. Moreover, products and services are increasingly interconnected, with the latter not being subject to the principle of Mutual Recognition. According to the Commission, these problems exist in all industrial sectors, but particularly in the construction and food industries.

CEOC position: relying on independent conformity assessment

In its position paper on the Internal Market Strategy CEOC recommends regarding this point to strengthen the principle of mutual recognition through the presumption of conformity of independently tested products.

"The confidence in the applicable product-specific regulations and therefore the level of protection secured by the country of origin required for the principle of mutual recognition can be strengthened in the long term by involving an independent third party in the conformity assessment because the third party has proven not only its expertise, but also their neutrality and objectivity to assess the product requirements of the country of origin by means of a statutory accreditation." (page 5, CEOC-position)

Mutual Recognition regulation about to be revised?

The Regulation introduced a procedural framework in order to prevent, as far as possible, that the free movement of goods between Member States is hindered by unnecessary and disproportionate national technical rules. This happened, firstly, through the establishment of Product Contact Points and the development of a product database, on the basis of which the applicability of mutual recognition can be examine and, secondly, by requesting the authorities to inform about and justify any decision to refuse market access on the basis of mutual recognition.

Whether this Regulation from 2008 met its goal or will possibly be revised will now be examined. As a first step, the EU Commission has launched a consultation for interested parties, which ends on 30th September 2016.



European Commission website - Public consultation on the possible revision of the Mutual Recognition Regulation (EC) No 764/2008  

REGULATION (EC) No 764/2008 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 9 July 2008 laying down procedures relating to the application of certain national technical rules to products lawfully marketed in another Member State and repealing Decision No 3052/95/EC

CEOC-Position: Upgrade the European Single Market with compliant products and services

Copyright CEOC International 2016