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A new boost to trade in goods

This Communication proposes four initiatives to further facilitate the free movement of goods and modernise the regulatory framework of the Single Market. These proposals are a fundamental part of the Commission's new strategy for the Single Market in the 21st Century.

ACT

Communication from the Commission of 14 February 2007, "The Internal Market for Goods: a cornerstone of Europe's competitiveness" [COM(2007) 35 final - not published in the Official Journal].

SUMMARY

Improving the internal market is an ongoing process that requires continuous updating, taking account of recent technological progress, the constantly changing global situation and the needs of consumers.

Following a recent consultation process, the Commission has noted satisfaction at the considerable progress that has been achieved, although there are two major problems:

  • some national technical rules still constitute important barriers to free trade within the EU, particularly in sectors that have not been harmonised;
  • several EU rules are inconsistent and a burden to trade.

Small and medium-sized enterprises are the most seriously affected by this problem and the additional tests and red tape it entails.

The Commission proposes four initiatives:

  • mutual recognition
    A proposal for a regulation laying down procedures that the national authorities must follow in applying national technical rules to products lawfully marketed in another Member State. This proposal also envisages the establishment of national "product contact points" to provide information on the applicable technical rules.
    This proposal for a regulation will place the emphasis on transparency and efficiency: transparency in the exchange of information between businesses and the national authorities and efficiency by abolishing controls and tests involving duplication of work;
  • accreditation and surveillance
    A proposal for a regulation setting out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products. This measure will step up market surveillance activities - to ensure that non-compliant products are quickly withdrawn from the market - and make it easier to assess the conformity of goods. In order to do this, the certifications issued by accredited laboratories and testing facilities will have to be accepted throughout the EU;
  • conformity
    A proposal for a decision on a common framework for the marketing of products, aimed at streamlining the various product conformity assessment procedures;
  • registration of motor vehicles
    An interpretative communication on procedures for the registration of motor vehicles originating in another Member State. This will serve as the basis for a citizen's guide on the transfer of vehicles within the EU, an issue that currently creates numerous practical difficulties as a result of bureaucratic registration formalities.

Background

This Communication is part of the Commission's review of the Single Market in the 21st Century, which is based on a public consultation procedure launched in April 2006. As part of this review, a comprehensive analysis will be carried out on the four freedoms making up the Single Market, with a final report setting out the initiatives that will supplement the measures described in this Communication.

Last updated: 19.02.2007

See also

For further information see:

The Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General's website on mutual recognition.

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