EU to Increase Compliance Enforcement in 2019

EU to Increase Compliance Enforcement in 2019

Too many non-compliant products are being sold in the European Union (EU) due to weaknesses in regulatory enforcement, according to members of the European Council. On November 23, 2018, ambassadors agreed with the council’s new proposed rules to strengthen enforcement of regulations such as the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation and the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive.

Based on RAPEX data, the European Commission estimates that there were 2,500 incidents where non-compliant products were removed from the market between 2011 and 2017, but that it’s only “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to non-compliant products. Members of the European Commission have argued that some companies may intentionally disregard the rules, and that enforcement must be stricter moving into 2019.

The proposed rules would:

  • Consolidate the existing framework for market surveillance activities.
  • Encourage joint actions by market surveillance authorities from several member states.
  • Introduce a digital workflow to improve the exchange of information between authorities and the European Commission.
  • Strengthen the framework for controls on products entering the EU for improved cooperation between market surveillance and customs authorities.
  • Provide standard training for inspectors and assist with joint procurement of product testing.

The Council’s next step will be to start negotiations with the European Parliament with the aim of reaching “rapid adoption” of the proposed regulation.

The EU Product Compliance Network will provide administrative support for joint investigations, and allow authorities to pool knowledge and create best practices for targeted, risk-based controls.

Companies that sell non-compliant products in the EU are opening themselves up to significant risk, including loss of market access, fines and litigation. Under existing law, companies are required to show evidence of due diligence for regulations such as REACH and RoHS, and that third-party supplier documentation is being actively collected and refreshed. Products in scope of RoHS are often scanned at customs to ensure they are free of restricted substances.

The European Commission is taking additional steps to improve REACH enforcement, with plans for a benchmarking meter to measure enforcement across the EU.

Assent’s Product Compliance Suite allows companies to collect and manage supply chain data for regulatory compliance and provide due diligence for regulations such as REACH and RoHS. By automating processes, compliance teams can save time and money, while reducing risk across the supply chain.

To learn more about how Assent can help you comply with product compliance regulations and centralize your supply chain data management program, contact