Products’ compliance with requirements
Legislation lays down requirements on products in order to ensure various aspects of safety, health, environmental protection and consumer protection. All products must be safe and reliable to use, or they must comply with certain minimum requirements.
Provisions on these requirements are laid down inEU directives, regulations and decisions, and in national legislation. Product-specific legislation specifies the responsibilities of manufacturers, importers and distributors in ensuring product compliance.
EU product legislation
The EU aims to guarantee the free movement of products by harmonising requirements for products. The free movement of products would be put at risk if enterprises had to demonstrate product compliance separately in each country.
In the EU, requirements for products are harmonised by directives that each EU Member State must transpose into national legislation by national acts and decrees. Requirements for products are also harmonised by EU regulations and decisions that, in contrast, are directly applicable and become automatically binding in the Member States.
Harmonised European requirements are not specified for all products. Such product groups may, however, be subject to requirements laid down in the Finnish national legislation. National procedures for demonstrating compliance are specified separately in the statutes on the product group in question.
Examples of nationally regulated product groups supervised by Tukes include:
- articles of precious metals
- construction products not to be CE marked
- fertilisers and garden peat
- measuring instruments for compressed gas sold for use as fuel
- measures used at open-air marketplaces
- beer taps
Mutual recognition of products
The EU aims to ensure that the national product requirements do not create technical barriers to the free movement of goods in the EU.
In order to ensure the free movement of goods, the EU has issued a Regulation on the mutual recognition of goods lawfully marketed in another Member State (2019/515/EU). It is applied if there are national requirements for products in legislation or official regulations, but these requirements have not been harmonised in the EU.
The premise of the principle of mutual recognition is that the movement of goods on the internal market is free unless a specific decision has been made to restrict or prohibit placing the products on the market. The Regulation is primarily a guideline for the authorities. Further information on the mutual recognition of goods is available from the European Commission’s website.
Company’s declaration of mutual recognition
Companies have the option to make a voluntary declaration of mutual recognition to the authorities of the Member States into which the company’s products are imported. With the declaration, the company can demonstrate that the goods are being marketed lawfully in another Member State. Companies are not required to submit the declaration to the authorities unless specifically requested. The declaration is standardised and must meet the requirements specified in the Annex to the Regulation. The European Commission has published the declaration form in all official languages of the EU.
SOLVIT - free service for cross-border cases
The SOLVIT problem-solving network is a free service for resolving issues between the authorities and companies established in various countries through unofficial cooperation between Member State authorities and the Commission. The service is not a substitute for official appeal procedures and does not offer legal aid if the case has been taken to court.
A company can refer a decision to the EU’s SOLVIT service if it considers that the authorities of another Member State have not applied EU legislation appropriately. The authority will then be provided with the opportunity to voluntarily rectify the deficiencies. Therefore, a Finnish company cannot use the SOLVIT service in cases involving a Finnish authority. The decisions issued by the SOLVIT service are non-binding recommendations. You can read more about the procedure and submit your case for processing on the SOLVIT network’s website.
MEE release, 22 January 2020 New EU regulation on mutual recognition to improve free movement of goods in the Single Market