Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on a common framework for the marketing of products COM(2007) 53 final

Published: 25 June 2007

Policies & Issues: Internal Market - Compliance, Standards & Enforcement

Orgalime welcomes the draft Decision COM(2007) 53 on a common framework for the marketing of products.  It sets up a model legislation based on the New Approach to technical harmonisation which we hope, in combination with the draft Regulation COM(2007) 37 on market surveillance and accreditation, will serve as a benchmark for all forthcoming changes that may affect product legislation. For the companies which Orgalime represents – engineering companies whose total output in 2006 was estimated at 1779 billion euros (27% of the EU manufacturing output) - product legislation based on the 'New Approach' is the core legislation regulating our products.

The New Approach legislation has successfully been applied to millions of engineering products for more than 20 years and has been instrumental in the success of the EU internal market with its key benefits: free movement of products and a high level of safety for both consumers and workers everywhere in Europe.  In our view, the Decision therefore constitutes a step forward to simplify the increasingly complex legal environment of European engineering manufacturers.

We particularly welcome the broad scope which addresses all product related aspects of Community interests, i.e. not only health and safety, but also environmental protection, energy efficiency, worker or consumer protection, etc... In the face of globalisation, we are pleased to see the rebalancing of manufacturers’ obligations with those of other market operators, such as the importer.

Although we believe that it would have been simpler to incorporate a common framework in the Regulation (rather than in a Regulation and a Decision), directly applicable without deviations by all member states, we are confident that this model legislation will serve as a standard for all planned and other possible upcoming changes that may affect existing product legislation.

While we support the text as a whole, we provide hereafter suggestions of improvement on some provisions, which mostly aim at ensuring that conformity assessment requirements will remain as simple and as clear to understand as possible by companies, especially SMEs, and by authorities.  We believe it is important to minimise bureaucratic requirements that only impede the competitiveness of our companies, without providing any additional protection to consumers or workers arising from the placing on the market of unfairly traded products which are not in conformity with EU regulation.

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