Brussels, 5 February 2014
Administrative burden will be slashed in eight industry sectors
The European Commission welcomed the vote of the European Parliament on the Commission proposal to make the internal market leaner for eight industry sectors including lifts, electrical and electronic equipment, simple pressure vessels, non-automatic weighing instruments, measuring instruments, explosives for civil uses, equipment used in explosive atmospheres and products which cause electromagnetic disturbances. The objective of this legislation is to make product safety more effective across the EU and to ensure greater consistency and easy of complying with the rules throughout all sectors. Different labeling or traceability requirements as well as divergences regarding the declaration of conformity and in the legal definitions that apply, will no longer exist. The initiative is part of the modernization of the EU product legislation to simplify rules, reduce administrative burdens and introduce clearer and more coherent rules across many sectors. This will lower compliance costs for businesses, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises in line with the recent Commission Communication on “A Vision for the internal market legislation for industrial products”1.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "Today's vote is a particular achievement given the complexity of the sectors. A genuine internal market for product supporting the industrial base in the EU requires consistent and coherent product rules. This is what we offer now to the industry in the EU. Thanks to the increased legal certainty, manufacturers can now better organise their manufacturing processes, enhance the quality and safety of products and invest in innovation. Today's decision is in line with our strategy to increase the share of industry in GDP."
Streamlined rules will make business easier
The updated rules rules aim to ensure easier market access and a higher level of protection of life and property. They will involve:
Products that comply with these safety rules can then carry the well-known CE marking to show they meet all the requirements set out EU legislation – thus helping sellers to more easily market their products across Europe as buyers will have increased confidence in the product.
The initiative is part of a general effort to align industrial product rules to a common set of principles. Its aim is to avoid sectorial fragmentation and conflicting or overlapping requirements for products which are governed by more than one piece of legislation.
Product sectors covered include:
How the new rules will benefit industry
The current rules have been developed gradually over the last 40 years resulting in some discrepancy in the different sectoral requirements. Yet, complex products fall under the scope of several sectoral rules creating difficulties for economic operators, such as different labeling or traceability requirements, divergences regarding the declaration of conformity and in the legal definitions that apply. With the Alignment to the New Legislative Framework, these possible divergences or discrepancies are eliminated. Economic operators are allowed to provide a single declaration of conformity per product. Labeling and traceability requirements are uniform across products. The procedures to demonstrate the conformity of a product with the applicable rules are also harmonised taking into account the safety imperatives and complexity of products.
The Communication “A vision for the internal market for industrial products” published on 21/01/2014 pushes for a more integrated internal market based on rationalising the existing regulatory framework. The Commission will also prepare a Regulation on Enforcement to help reinforce a level-playing field for compliant products in the EU. The Enterprise Europe Network will be reinforced to strengthen support for SMEs in the internal market and further enhance the assistance given for access to finance and for the innovation management capacity of SMEs.