EU Market Surveillance Regulation comes into effect

July 19, 2021

Significant new product safety legislation, the Market Surveillance Regulation (2019/1020) (MS Regulation) came into effect across Europe on Friday 16 July. Market surveillance ensures non-food products on the EU market do not endanger consumers by providing for actions such as product withdrawals and recalls, alongside enforcement action to stop the circulation of non-compliant products. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is a market surveillance authority (MSA) for the purposes of the MS Regulation.

This Regulation is introduced in the context of increasingly complex supply chains and a significant increase in online sales which have led to challenges for MSAs across the EU. The MS Regulation strengthens and modernises the existing market surveillance of non-food products to address these issues. As a consequence, there are new obligations for certain types of economic operators in the supply chain, such as fulfilment service providers. There are increased cooperation obligations on economic operators and information society service providers to share information with MSAs. Furthermore, it requires that sellers of products have a designated representative in the EU. The MS Regulation strengthens the provisions for customs controls on products entering the EU market and allows for for national MSAs to share compliance data.

In Ireland, this new Regulation will impact on four of the pieces of legislation which the CCPC enforces: the Low Voltage Directive, the Toy Safety Directive, the Gas Appliances Regulation and the PPE Regulation. The MS Regulation provides a set of powers for MSAs, including the CCPC, which includes certain new powers, for example the power to make test purchases under cover identity, and to require the removal of online content. The MS Regulation also requires Member States enhance the powers of their respective market surveillance authorities to ensure an effective level of market surveillance of products online and in-store. The CCPC are actively engaging with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment on the development of Statutory Instruments relating to Market Surveillance Regulation (2019/1020) which will give effect to the Regulation and, in particular, detail the increased powers of the CCPC in these areas.

More information on the CCPC’s product safety work is available here.

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