Category Archives: Free movement of goods: general framework

The free movement of goods is one of the freedoms of the single market of the European Union. Since January 1993, controls on the movement of goods within the internal market have been abolished and the European Union is now a single territory without internal frontiers.
The abolition of customs tariffs promotes intra-Community trade, which accounts for a large part of the total imports and exports of the Member States.
Articles 28 and 29 of the Treaty establishing the European Community prohibit import and export restrictions between all Member States. However, if there is a threat to public health or the environment, Member States may restrict the free movement of goods.

Internal Market

Internal Market

Internal Market Contents

  • Internal market: general framework
  • Living and working in the internal market: Free movement of people, asylum and immigration, free movement of workers
  • Single Market for Goods: Free movement of goods, technical harmonisation, product labelling and packaging, consumer safety, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, chemical products, motor vehicles, construction, external dimension
  • Single market for services: Free movement of services, professional occupations, services of general interest, transport, Information Society, postal services, financial services, banks, insurance, securities markets
  • Single market for capital: Free movement of capital, economic and monetary union, economic and private stakeholders, fiscal aspects, combating fraud, external relations
  • Businesses in the internal market: Company law, public procurement, intellectual property

See also

Living and working in the internal market.
Overviews of European Union: Internal market.
Further information: the Internal Market and Services Directorate-General of the European Commission.

European statistics

European statistics

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European statistics

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Free movement of goods: general framework

European statistics

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2009 on European statistics and repealing Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1101/2008 on the transmission of data subject to statistical confidentiality to the Statistical Office of the European Communities, Council Regulation (EC) No 322/97 on Community Statistics, and Council Decision 89/382/EEC, Euratom establishing a Committee on the Statistical Programmes of the European Communities (Text with relevance for the EEA and for Switzerland).

Summary

This Regulation aims to establish a legal framework for the development, production and dissemination of European statistics in compliance with the following principles:

  • professional independence;
  • impartiality;
  • objectivity;
  • reliability;
  • statistical confidentiality;
  • cost effectiveness.

How is statistical governance exercised?

Eurostat is the European authority responsible for developing, producing and disseminating European statistics. It coordinates the statistical activities of the institutions and bodies of the European Union (EU).

The national statistical institutes (NSIs) are designated by each Member State to coordinate all activities related to the development, production and dissemination of European statistics. They are a contact point for Eurostat.

The (ESS) is the result of a partnership between Eurostat and the NSIs, as well as other national authorities in each Member State.

This Regulation also establishes the European Statistical System Committee (ESS Committee), which shall be composed of representatives of the NSIs and chaired by Eurostat. The ESS Committee shall be consulted by the Commission on the following questions:

  • the development, production and dissemination of European statistics;
  • the European statistical programme;
  • issues concerning statistical confidentiality;
  • the further development of the Code of Practice.

The ESS shall cooperate closely with the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). It shall also be responsible for updating the European statistics Code of Practice. This Code of Practice aims at ensuring public trust in European statistics.

European statistics must be developed, produced and disseminated according to harmonised methods which, in particular, apply criteria of relevance, accuracy, accessibility and coherence.

How are European statistics produced?

European statistics are produced as part of the European statistical programme for a period of five years. This programme sets priorities as to information needs in relation to the activities of the European Union (EU).

Before finalising the statistical programme, the European Commission shall submit a draft to the ESS Committee.

Implementation of the European statistical programme shall be decided by:

  • the European Parliament and the Council;
  • the Commission;
  • a written agreement between the NSIs, other national authorities and Eurostat.

The Commission shall also submit an annual work programme to the ESS Committee for the following year, based on the European statistical programme.

How are European statistics disseminated?

European statistics shall be disseminated by Eurostat, the NSIs, and other national authorities. Such data may be disseminated in the form of a public file which shall nevertheless be anonymous.

Where the data have been transferred to Eurostat, the NSI or the national authority which provided the data must give its explicit approval before dissemination takes place.

What are the parameters of statistical confidentiality?

Confidential data shall only be accessed by Eurostat officials. Such data must be used exclusively for statistical purposes and must not be disclosed unlawfully.

However, there are exceptional cases in which statistical units may be disseminated, where:

  • specific conditions and modalities are determined by an act of the European Parliament and of the Council;
  • the statistical unit itself authorises the disclosure of its data.

Confidential data may be transmitted by an authority of the ESS to another authority as long as this act is recognised as being necessary to the development, production or dissemination of European statistics. The national rules of a Member State alone shall not be sufficient to justify such transmission.

NSIs, Eurostat and other national authorities may have access to sources of administrative data using their public administration system.

This Regulation repeals Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1101/2008, Regulation (EC) No 322/97 and Decision 89/382/EEC.

Reference

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009

1.4.2009

OJ L 87 of 31.3.2009

Intrastat system – statistics relating to the trading of goods between Member States

Intrastat system – statistics relating to the trading of goods between Member States

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Intrastat system – statistics relating to the trading of goods between Member States

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Free movement of goods: general framework

Intrastat system – statistics relating to the trading of goods between Member States

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 638/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on Community statistics relating to the trading of goods between Member States and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3330/91 (See amending act(s)).

Summary

Intrastat, which has been in operation since 1993, is the system for the provision of statistical information on dispatches and arrivals of Community goods. The provision of statistics is essential for the development of European policies on the internal market and market analysis.

Statistics concerned

This Regulation simplifies the Intrastat system which was established in 1993 and improves the comparability of statistics between Member States. It establishes a common framework for the collection and production of Community statistics on the trading of goods between Member States. ‘Trading of goods between Member States’ means any movement of merchandise from one Member State to another and ‘merchandise’ means all movable property, including electric current.

Register management

National authorities set up and manage a register of intra-European Union operators made up of consignors and consignees. The parties responsible for providing information * for Intrastat are those operators whose annual trade amount – dispatches and arrivals – is of a certain value. The other operators are exempt from all statistical requirements. This value is re-defined each year and is fixed separately for dispatches and arrivals so that a minimum amount of data is collected for each trade flow. This relates to exclusion thresholds.

Data to be collected by the Intrastat system

The parties responsible for providing information provide the national statistical authorities with the following data:

  • the identification number allocated to the party responsible for providing information;
  • the reference period;
  • the flow (arrival, dispatch);
  • the commodity, identified by the eight-digit code of the Combined Nomenclature;
  • the partner Member State;
  • the value of the goods in the national currency;
  • the quantity of the goods in net mass (weight excluding packaging) and the supplementary unit (litre, m², number of items, etc.), if relevant;
  • the nature of the transaction.

Simplifying the Intrastat system

This regulation modifies the Intrastat system in order to take better account of users’ needs while alleviating the statistical obligations of intra-EU operators. Each year, Member States re-define their exclusion thresholds and communicate these amounts to Eurostat. These thresholds are set in such a way so as to collect data relating to at least 97% of all dispatches and at least 95% of all arrivals of national intra-Community operators.

Statistical confidentiality

Any party responsible for providing information may request that their data receives statistical confidentiality. Following this request, the national authorities shall decide whether the statistical results which make it possible to identify the said provider are to be disseminated or are to be amended in such a way that their dissemination does not prejudice statistical confidentiality.

Transmission of data to Eurostat

Member States shall transmit to Eurostat the monthly results of their statistics on the trading of goods between Member States.

Member States must ensure the quality of the data transmitted in accordance with the standards in force. The statistics must fulfil certain criteria:

  • relevance;
  • accuracy;
  • timeliness;
  • punctuality;
  • accessibility and clarity;
  • comparability;
  • coherence.

The Committee for the statistics on the trading of goods between Member States is given the task of assisting the Commission in applying this regulation.

This Regulation shall apply from 1 January 2005 and repeals Regulation (EEC) No 3330/91 as of this date.

Key terms used in the act
  • Parties responsible for providing information: natural or legal persons registered for VAT in the Member State of dispatch or arrival of goods who are involved in the dispatch or delivery of goods.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 638/2004

27.4.2004

OJ L 102 of 7.4.2004

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 222/2009

20.4.2009

OJ L 87 of 31.3.2009

The successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EEC) No 638/2004 have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

EDICOM Programme

EDICOM Programme

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about EDICOM Programme

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Free movement of goods: general framework

EDICOM Programme

1) Objective

To modernise, rationalise and enhance the efficiency of the trans-European network for the collection, production and dissemination of statistics on intra- and extra-Community trade in goods, and at the same time to offer more reliable statistics which better satisfy users’ expectations.

2) Document or Iniciative

Decision 507/2001/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 March 2001 concerning a set of actions relating to the trans-European network for the collection, production and dissemination of statistics on the trading of goods within the Community and between the Community and non-member countries (Edicom) [Official Journal L 76 of 16.03.2001].

3) Summary

Actions implemented in the framework of Decision 96/715/EC of 9 December 1996 on inter- administration telematic networks for statistics relating to the trading of goods between Member States (Edicom) produced encouraging results. Consequently, with the expiry of that Decision, the new decision extends Edicom for a further five years, from 2001 to 2005.

The aims of the new decision are to:

  • modernise, rationalise and enhance the efficiency of the network for statistics on intra- and extra-Community trade in goods;
  • improve harmonisation of the methods used in order to produce statistics which are more reliable, less expensive, and better satisfy users’ expectations;
  • take into account the latest technological advances and seeking to optimise cost-effectiveness for the collection, production, transmission and dissemination of statistical data.

To achieve these aims, a set of actions (known as the “Edicom” programme) is planned to:

  • produce statistical information which is of better quality, less costly and available more quickly, and better adapted to users’ needs;
  • incorporate statistics on the trading of goods more effectively into the general Community and international statistical system;
  • offer to administrations, suppliers and users of information all the available statistics relating to the trading of goods;
  • develop tools for collecting information on the trading of goods.

The Commission will be responsible for implementing Edicom, assisted by two committees.

On completion of the programme, the Commission will submit to the European Parliament and the Council a report on its implementation, accompanied, if appropriate, by proposals for new actions. A mid-term report must also be made by December 2003.

The budget for the period 2001-05 is EUR 51.2 million.

Act Date
of entry into force
Final date for implementation in the Member States
Decision 507/2001/EC 16.03.2001

4) Implementing Measures

Decision 2002/314/EC Official Journal L 113 of 30.04.2002

Commission Decision of 25 April 2002 on the implementation of Decision 507/2001/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning a set of actions relating to the trans-European network for the collection, production and dissemination of statistics on the trading of goods within the Community and between the Community and non-member countries (Edicom).
This Decision sets out the measures covered by the Edicom work programme which qualify for Community finance (Annex I) and an indicative breakdown of the costs of those measures for 2002 (Annex II).

Decision 2001/490/EC Official Journal L 177 of 30.06.2001

Commission Decision of 18 June 2001 on the implementation of Decision 507/2001/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning a set of actions relating to the trans-European network for the collection, production and dissemination of statistics on the trading of goods within the Community and between the Community and non-member countries (Edicom)
This Decision sets out the measures covered by the Edicom work programme which qualify for Community finance (Annex I) and an indicative breakdown of the costs of those measures for 2001 (Annex II).

5) Follow-Up Work

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the Edicom programme (1997-1999) [COM(2003) 88 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The Report provides information concerning the outcome of the actions taken during the period 1997-1999. The programme significantly contributed to the implementation of the Intrastat system.

 

Notification of national measures derogating from the principle of the free movement of goods

Notification of national measures derogating from the principle of the free movement of goods

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Notification of national measures derogating from the principle of the free movement of goods

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Free movement of goods: general framework

Notification of national measures derogating from the principle of the free movement of goods

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) 764/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 laying down procedures relating to the application of certain national technical rules to products lawfully marketed in another Member State and repealing Decision 3052/95/EC.

Summary

The aim of this Regulation is to strengthen the functioning of the internal market by improving the free movement of goods.

Scope

The Regulation lays down rules and procedures that the competent authorities of a Member State should follow if they decide, for a product or type of product:

  • to prohibit it from the market;
  • to request its modification or additional testing;
  • to withdraw it from the market.

It does not apply to judicial decisions:

  • made by courts or tribunals;
  • made by law enforcement authorities.

Technical rule

For the purposes of this Regulation, a technical rule is any provision of a law, regulation or other administrative provision of a Member State which:

  • is not the subject of harmonisation at Community level;
  • prohibits the placing on the market of a product or type of product;
  • statesthe characteristics required of that product (levels of quality, performance, safety or dimensions);
  • states any other requirement for the purpose of protecting consumers or the environment.

Procedure for the application of a technical rule

With a view to making a product or type of product subject to an assessment, the competent authority can ask the economic operator to supply information concerning the characteristics or the placing on the market of the product.

Following the assessment, the competent authority can take a decision to prohibit, modify or withdraw a product from the market. It informs the economic operator of this, who shall then be allowed at least 20 working days in which to submit comments.

During this period, the product may still be sold, unless it represents a serious risk to the health and safety of consumers or a breach of public morality or public security.

Product Contact Points

Member States shall designate Product Contact Points in their territories and shall communicate their contact details to the other Member States and to the Commission. A list of Product Contact Points shall be regularly updated by the European Commission on the Official Journal of the European Union website.

These Product Contact Points must provide information on:

  • the technical rules applicable to a product or type of product;
  • the contact details of the competent authorities in a given Member State;
  • the remedies generally available in the event of a dispute between the competent authorities and an economic operator.

The Commission may set up a telematic network concerning the exchange of information between Product Contact Points.

Context

The internal market offers many advantages such as the free movement of persons, services, goods and capital. In particular it allows a larger number of European enterprises to enter into competition. However, some technical obstacles to the movement of goods may be created illegally.

It is therefore necessary to strengthen the internal market by consolidating the principle of mutual recognition.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 764/2008 2.9.2008 13.5.2009 L 218/29 of 13.8.2008


Another Normative about Notification of national measures derogating from the principle of the free movement of goods

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Internal market > Free movement of goods: general framework

Notification of national measures derogating from the principle of the free movement of goods

The transparency of national measures which act as a barrier to the free movement of products makes it easier to deal with problems which undermine the principle of the free movement of goods. This decision introduces a procedure whereby Member States are required to notify the Commission of any national measures which derogate from this principle. This type of procedure helps solve problems arising in connection with the operation of the internal market to the satisfaction of both business and consumers.

Document or Iniciative

Decision 3052/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 1995 establishing a procedure for the exchange of information on national measures derogating from the principle of the free movement of goods within the Community.

Summary

Decision 3052/95/EC introduces a system for the exchange of information between the Member States and the Commission. This notification system relates to national measures derogating from the principle of the free movement of goods in non-harmonised sectors.

Scope

The information system entails the notification of national measures which act as a barrier to the free movement or placing on the market of a particular model or type of goods lawfully produced or marketed in another Member State, where the direct or indirect effect of the measure is a general ban on the goods, a refusal to allow the goods to be placed on the market, the modification of the model or type of product concerned before it can be placed or kept on the market, or withdrawal of the goods from the market.

Exemptions and derogations

The information system does not apply to:

  • measures taken solely in pursuance of Community harmonisation measures;
  • measures notified to the Commission under specific provisions;
  • draft measures notified to the Commission under specific Community provisions;
  • measures, such as preventive measures or investigations, which simply prepare or lead up to the main measure acting as a barrier to the free movement or placing on the market of a particular model or type of goods lawfully produced or marketed in another Member State;
  • measures relating solely to the protection of public morality or public order;
  • measures relating to second-hand goods which, with time or use, have become unsuitable for being placed or kept on the market.

Context

Decision No 3052/95/EC is repealed and replaced by Regulation No 764/2008 laying down procedures relating to the application of certain national technical rules to products lawfully marketed in another Member State, from 13 May 2009.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision No 3052/95/EC [adoption: codecision COD/1993/0489]

30.12.1995

1.1.1997

OJ L 321 of 30.12.1995

Related Acts

Report of 7 April 2000 from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee on the implementation of Decision 3052/95/EC in 1997 and 1998 [COM(2000) 194 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The report assesses how the decision operated in 1997 and 1998. It then gives a breakdown of how it was implemented by the Member States and the Commission during the first two years, in order to draw a number of conclusions.

Removal of certain obstacles to trade: rapid intervention mechanism

Removal of certain obstacles to trade: rapid intervention mechanism

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Removal of certain obstacles to trade: rapid intervention mechanism

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Free movement of goods: general framework

Removal of certain obstacles to trade: rapid intervention mechanism

Acts

Council Regulation (EC) No 2679/98 of 7 December 1998 on the functioning of the internal market in relation to the free movement of goods among the Member.

Summary

The Regulation is based on Article 268 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (ex Article 235 of the EC Treaty) and applies to clear, unmistakable and unjustified obstacles to the free movement of goods, within the meaning of Articles 36 to 42 of the TFEU (ex Articles 30 to 36 of the EC Treaty), originating in action or inaction on the part of a Member State and which:

  • lead to serious disruption of the free movement of goods;
  • cause serious loss to the individuals affected;
  • require immediate action in order to prevent any continuation, increase or intensification of the disruption or loss in question.

Inaction exists when a Member State, in the presence of actions taken by private individuals, fails to implement any necessary and proportionate measure available to it for safeguarding the free movement of goods without adversely affecting the exercise of fundamental rights recognised under national law.

Where the Commission establishes the existence in a Member State of obstacles, it must address a decision to the Member State directing it to take the necessary and proportionate measures to remove those obstacles within a period laid down by it.

Where a Member State to which a decision is addressed fails to comply with it within the prescribed period, the Commission must immediately give it notice to submit its observations within three days.

Where the obstacle continues after the expiry of the period of three days mentioned above, the Commission has immediately to issue a reasoned opinion calling on the Member State to comply with it within three days.

Where, by the end of that three-day period, the Member State has not complied with the reasoned opinion, the Commission may institute proceedings before the Court of Justice.

The Commission must publish in the Official Journal of the European Union decisions which it adopts pursuant to point 3 and must immediately transmit the text to any interested party which makes a request to this effect.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 2679/98

27.12.1998

OJ L 337, 12.12.1998

Production of Community statistics

Production of Community statistics

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Production of Community statistics

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Free movement of goods: general framework

Production of Community statistics

The purpose of this Regulation is to establish a legislative framework for the systematic and programmed production of Community statistics with a view to the formulation, application, monitoring and assessment of Community policies.

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 322/97 of 17 February 1997 on Community Statistics.

Summary

The national authorities, at national level, and the Community authority, at Community level, are responsible for the production of Community statistics in compliance with the principle of subsidiarity.
To guarantee comparability of results, Community statistics are produced on the basis of uniform standards and, in specific, duly justified cases, harmonised methods.

For the purposes of this Regulation:

  • ‘Community statistics’ means quantitative, aggregated and representative information taken from the collection and systematic processing of data, produced by the national authorities and the Community authority in the framework of implementation of the Community statistical programme in accordance with point 3;
  • ‘production of statistics’ means the process encompassing the activities necessary for the collection, storage, processing and compilation of statistics;
  • ‘national authorities’ means national statistical institutes and other bodies responsible in each Member State for producing Community statistics;
  • ‘Community authority’ means the Commission department responsible for carrying out the tasks devolving on the Commission as regards the production of Community statistics (Eurostat).

In accordance with the relevant provisions of the Treaty, the Council is to adopt a Community statistical programme which defines the approaches, the main fields and the objectives of the actions envisaged for a period not exceeding five years. The Community statistical programme is to constitute the framework for the production of all Community statistics. If necessary, it may be updated. The Commission is to prepare a report on the implementation of the programme at the end of the period covered by the programme.

The Commission is to submit the guidelines for establishing the Community statistical programme for prior examination by the Statistical Programme Committee and, in accordance with their respective powers, by the European Advisory Committee on Statistical Information in the Economic and Social Spheres and the Committee on Monetary, Financial and Balance of Payments Statistics.

The Community statistical programme referred to above is to be implemented by specific statistical actions decided on by the Council under the appropriate Treaty provisions or by the Commission under the conditions laid down in point 4 or by agreement between the national authorities and the Community authority within their respective spheres of competence.

Each year, before the end of May, the Commission is to submit its work programme for examination by the Statistical Programme Committee for the following year, indicating in particular:

  • the actions which the Commission considers to have priority, bearing in mind both national and Community financial constraints;
  • the procedures and any legal instruments envisaged by the Commission for the implementation of the programme.

The Commission is to take particular account of the comments of the Statistical Programme Committee, and take the action it considers most appropriate.

The Commission may decide on an individual statistical action as provided for in point 3 when it meets all the following conditions:

  • the action must not last for more than one year;
  • the data to be gathered must be already available or accessible within the national authorities responsible, or, in exceptional cases, data which can be gathered directly;
  • any additional costs incurred at national level as a result of the action must be borne by the Commission.

To guarantee the coherence necessary to produce statistics meeting their respective information requirements, the Commission is to cooperate closely with the European Central Bank (ECB), taking due account of the principles defined in point 9. The Committee on Monetary, Financial and Balance of Payments Statistics is to be associated, within the limits of its competence, in this cooperation.

In order to ensure the best possible quality in both ethical and professional aspects, Community statistics are to be governed by the principles of impartiality, reliability, relevance, cost-effectiveness, statistical confidentiality and transparency.

‘Dissemination’ means the activity of making Community statistics accessible to users.

Data used by the national authorities and the Community authority for the production of Community statistics must be considered confidential when they allow statistical units to be identified, either directly or indirectly, thereby disclosing individual information.

References

Instrument Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 322/97 14.3.1997 OJ L 52 of 22.2.1997
Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003 20.11.2003 OJ L 284 of 31.10.2003

Related Acts

Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 September 2003 adapting to Council Decision 1999/468/EC the provisions relating to committees which assist the Commission in the exercise of its implementing powers laid down in instruments subject to the procedure referred to in Article 251 of the EC Treaty [Official Journal L 284 of 31.10.2003].
This document adapts Regulation (EC) No 322/97, subject to the management procedure, to the corresponding provisions of Decision 1999/468/EC which aims to simplify the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission and covers the three implementing procedures: advisory, management and regulatory.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 831/2002 of 17 May 2002 implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 322/97 on Community Statistics, concerning access to confidential data for scientific purposes [Official Journal L 133 of 18.5.2002].

This Regulation establishes, for the purpose of enabling statistical conclusions to be drawn for scientific purposes, the conditions under which access to confidential data transmitted to the Community authority may be granted and the rules of cooperation between the Community and national authorities in order to facilitate such access.

Decision No 2367/2002/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2002 on the Community statistical programme 2003 to 2007 [Official Journal L 358 of 31.12.2002].
This Decision establishes the Community statistical programme for the period 2003-07. The programme is guided by the principal Community policy priorities of:

  • economic and monetary union (EMU);
  • European Union enlargement;
  • competitiveness, sustainable development and the social agenda.

The programme’s budget for the period 2003-07 is set at EUR 192.5 million. During the third year of implementation of the programme, the Commission is to draft an intermediate report. At the end of the period covered by the programme, the Commission is to present an appropriate evaluation report on the implementation of the programme, to be completed by 2008 at the latest.

Council Decision No 126/1999/EC of 22 December 1998 on the Community statistical programme 1998 to 2002 [Official Journal L 42 of 16.2.1999].

This Decision sets up the Community statistical programme for the period from 1998 to 2002. It covers the principal Community policy priorities of:

  • Economic and Monetary Union (EMU);
  • competitiveness, growth and employment;
  • European Union enlargement.

Commission Decision No 98/281/EC of 21 April 1997 on the role of Eurostat as regards the production of Community statistics [Official Journal No L 112, 29.4.1997]

This Decision defines the role and the responsibilities of the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat) pursuant to the development of the tasks of the Community authority in implementing Community statistics, and of the principles as set out in Article 10 of Regulation No 322/97/EC.

A new boost to trade in goods

A new boost to trade in goods

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A new boost to trade in goods

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Free movement of goods: general framework

A new boost to trade in goods

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 14 February 2007, “The Internal Market for Goods: a cornerstone of Europe’s competitiveness” [COM(2007) 35 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Improving the internal market is an ongoing process that requires continuous updating, taking account of recent technological progress, the constantly changing global situation and the needs of consumers.

Following a recent consultation process, the Commission has noted satisfaction at the considerable progress that has been achieved, although there are two major problems:

  • some national technical rules still constitute important barriers to free trade within the EU, particularly in sectors that have not been harmonised;
  • several EU rules are inconsistent and a burden to trade.

Small and medium-sized enterprises are the most seriously affected by this problem and the additional tests and red tape it entails.

The Commission proposes four initiatives:

  • mutual recognition

    A proposal for a regulation laying down procedures that the national authorities must follow in applying national technical rules to products lawfully marketed in another Member State. This proposal also envisages the establishment of national “product contact points” to provide information on the applicable technical rules.
    This proposal for a regulation will place the emphasis on transparency and efficiency: transparency in the exchange of information between businesses and the national authorities and efficiency by abolishing controls and tests involving duplication of work;
  • accreditation and surveillance

    A proposal for a regulation setting out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products. This measure will step up market surveillance activities – to ensure that non-compliant products are quickly withdrawn from the market – and make it easier to assess the conformity of goods. In order to do this, the certifications issued by accredited laboratories and testing facilities will have to be accepted throughout the EU;
  • conformity

    A proposal for a decision on a common framework for the marketing of products, aimed at streamlining the various product conformity assessment procedures;
  • registration of motor vehicles

    An interpretative communication on procedures for the registration of motor vehicles originating in another Member State. This will serve as the basis for a citizen’s guide on the transfer of vehicles within the EU, an issue that currently creates numerous practical difficulties as a result of bureaucratic registration formalities.

Background

This Communication is part of the Commission’s review of the Single Market in the 21st Century, which is based on a public consultation procedure launched in April 2006. As part of this review, a comprehensive analysis will be carried out on the four freedoms making up the Single Market, with a final report setting out the initiatives that will supplement the measures described in this Communication.

Accreditation and market surveillance

Accreditation and market surveillance

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Accreditation and market surveillance

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Free movement of goods: general framework

Accreditation and market surveillance

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 setting out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 339/93 (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This Regulation envisages the laying down of clear rules on the organisation and operation of accreditation, in the Member States, of conformity assessment bodies performing assessment of any substance, preparation or other product, transformed or not, to be placed on the Community market.

It is important to guarantee a high level of market surveillance in order to satisfy the requirements of protection of public interests such as health and safety in general, health and safety in the workplace, protection of consumers, the environment and security.

These rules reinforce the existing system, without weakening existing instruments such as the General Product Safety Directive, which has on the whole been successful.

Accreditation

This Regulation provides a framework for European accreditation policy. For the first time it establishes a common legal basis for accreditation, therefore providing a comprehensive legal framework for regulating the organisation of accreditation within the European Economic Area (EEA) from 1 January 2010.

Whether voluntary or compulsory, accreditation is recognised as the last level of control of the suitability of conformity assessment services. Accreditation has no commercial purpose, since this would reduce its value and credibility.

Accreditation is characterised by the following:

  • there is only one accreditation body per Member State
  • there is no competition between accreditation bodies and conformity assessment bodies;
  • accreditation is carried out by a public authority;
  • accreditation bodies operate on a not-for-profit basis and comply with the principles of impartiality and objectivity.

The European cooperation for Accreditation (EA) shall be responsible for managing the peer assessment which monitors the responsibilities and functioning of the national accreditation bodies. Through this peer evaluation system, the EA contributes to the quality of the services provided by national accreditation bodies and therefore to the mutual acceptance of conformity certificates throughout the EU and the rest of the world.

Market surveillance

Member States guarantee effective surveillance of their market. They are required to organise and carry out close monitoring so that the products covered by Community harmonisation legislation meet the requirements for protection of public interests such as health or safety.

The competent market surveillance authorities in each Member State monitor products on the Community market. They are responsible for:

  • monitoring compliance with product safety requirements;
  • following up complaints or reports on product-related risks;
  • monitoring accidents and damage to health suspected to have been caused by these products;
  • verifying corrective action has been taken;
  • following up and updating scientific and technical knowledge concerning safety issues;
  • following up on the notification of dangerous products on RAPEX.

The Member States must cooperate with each other and ensure that information is exchanged between them and the Commission and the relevant Community agencies.

Market surveillance authorities must perform appropriate checks on the characteristics of products – through documentary, physical and laboratory checks – and may require economic operators to make available the necessary information and enter their premises to better perform, totally independently, their surveillance task.

If the authorities identify a product as presenting a risk, they shall alert users by taking the appropriate measures. If it presents a serious risk Member States ensure that:

  • the product details are changed on RAPEX;
  • the product is recalled or withdrawn;
  • the product is modified and the risk removed.

In cases of risk, Member States must inform the economic operator in question and the Commission of their decision without delay, stating precisely the reasons for this.

Where controls on products entering the Community market are concerned, the Member States provide their customs authorities with all the means necessary to ensure that the appropriate checks are carried out on the product’s safety before it is released for free circulation. In the event of serious danger, assumed or actual, or in the absence of the necessary accompanying documents, the customs authorities must suspend release for free circulation of the product in question.
The market surveillance authorities and the customs authorities cooperate to ensure effective control of product safety.

Certain activities planned for the application of this Regulation may be financed by the Union.

This Regulation repeals Regulation (EC) No 339/93 as of 1 January 2010.

Reference

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 765/2008

2.9.2008

OJ L 218 of 13.8.2008

Related Act

Regulation (EC) No 764/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 laying down procedures relating to the application of certain national technical rules to products lawfully marketed in another Member State and repealing Decision No 3052/95/EC (Text with EEA relevance) [OJ L 218 of 13.8.2008].

National technical regulations and free movement of goods

National technical regulations and free movement of goods

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about National technical regulations and free movement of goods

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Free movement of goods: general framework

National technical regulations and free movement of goods

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 764/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 laying down procedures relating to the application of certain national technical rules to products lawfully marketed in another Member State and repealing Decision No 3052/95/EC.

Summary

The objective of this Regulation is to improve the free movement of goods in the Community. It establishes rules and procedures which should be followed by the authorities of Member States when they take or intend to take a decision which could hinder the free movement of a product lawfully marketed in another Member State and not covered by harmonised rules at Community level. It shall apply from 13 May 2009.

Scope

This Regulation shall apply to administrative decisions based on a technical rule which has the direct or indirect effect of:

  • the prohibition of the placing on the market of a product;
  • the modification or additional testing of that product before it can be placed on the
  • market;
  • the withdrawal of that product.

This Regulation does not apply to:

  • judicial decisions;
  • systems covered by Directives 96/48/EC and 2001/16/EC;
  • the procedure for authorisation of the placing in service of rolling stock provided for in Directive 2004/49/EC;
  • certain measures related to products posing a serious risk detailed in Directive 2001/95/EC;
  • certain measures related to food posing a risk taken under Regulations 178/2002 and 882/2004.

Procedures

This Regulation frames the assessment of product conformity with national technical rules. Competent authorities in the Member States must comply with the rules and procedures on:

  • gathering information on the product concerned;
  • the recognition of certificates or test reports issued by an accredited conformity-assessment body in accordance with Regulation No 765/2008: Member States cannot reject certificates or test reports on grounds related to the competency of that body;
  • an evaluation of the need to apply a technical rule: the decision should be based on technical or scientific elements proving the proportionality of the envisaged measure, should be notified to the enterprise concerned and can be legally challenged;
  • the temporary suspension of the marketing of a product: this is forbidden during the evaluation procedure, except in cases where the product poses a serious risk or is prohibited in a Member State on grounds of public morality or public security.

Product Contact Points

Each Member State shall designate one or more Product Contact Points in their territories and shall communicate their contact details to the Commission and to the other Member States. The task of the Product Contact Points is to provide information on the technical rules applicable in the territory in which they are established, on the contact details of the competent authorities and on the remedies available.

Reports

Each Member State shall send the Commission on a yearly basis a report on the application of this Regulation. The Commission shall review the application of this Regulation every five years and shall publish a list of products which are not subject to Community harmonisation legislation.

Context

This Regulation repeals and replaces Decision 3052/95/EC establishing a procedure for the exchange of information on national measures derogating from the principle of the free movement of goods within the Community, effective from 13 May 2009. This Act forms part of the strategy framework for a single market in the 21st century.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 764/2008 2.9.2008 OJ L 218 of 13.8.2008