On the 19th of April 2020 Regulation 2019/515, which sets out new rules on mutual recognition of goods, started to apply across Europe. The objective of the Regulation is to ensure that goods lawfully marketed in one member state can be sold in any other member state, so long as they are safe and respect the public interest.
To prove that their product has been lawfully marketed in another Member State companies can complete a mutual recognition declaration. A template for the mutual recognition declaration is annexed to Regulation 2019/515. The declaration enables companies to immediately provide to competent national authorities information on the product and its conformity with the technical rules in force in another Member State.
Competent national authorities must notify a company if it intends to carry out any assessment in order to verify whether the product has been lawfully marketed in another Member State and the legitimate public interests, as guaranteed by the national technical rule, are sufficiently protected. A company can continue to make its products available in the Member State while the competent authority carries out such an assessment, and may continue to do so unless it receives an administrative decision restricting or denying market access for those products. A competent authority may temporarily suspend the making available of the products on the market in that Member State while it carries out it's assessment of the products only if the product poses a serious risk to the safety or health of persons or the environment and requires rapid intervention or the making available of the product is generally prohibited on grounds of public morality or public security.
If a company is denied or restricted market access for their products they can contest such decisions using SOLVIT (the Internal Market Problem Solving System). SOLVIT is an effective non-judicial, problem-solving mechanism that is provided free of charge. It works under short deadlines and provides practical solutions to individuals and businesses when they are experiencing difficulties in the recognition of their Union rights by public authorities. This provides companies with a more time and cost efficient method of contesting decisions than having to rely on national courts or tribunals.
Information on national technical rules and the application of the principle of mutual recognition can be accessed online via product contact points in each Member State.
The new rules are good news for companies and will make it easier for companies, especially SMEs, to sell their products across Europe.
Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “A strong Single Market is Europe's best tool to exit the unprecedented crisis caused by the coronavirus. These new rules will help European businesses and make the Single Market even stronger. We will make sure that goods can be sold across Europe more easily and reduce red tape.”