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EU single market: Market surveillance for pressure equipments

Market surveillance aims at ensuring that products, such as pressure equipments fulfil the applicable requirements providing a high level of protection of public interests, such as health and safety in general, health and safety in the workplace, the protection of consumers, of the environment and of public security and any other public interest protected by the EU legislation. Each Member State must ensure effective surveillance of his market.

Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 regulates market surveillance the EU harmonisation legislation establishing specific requirements on the design, composition and labelling of harmonised non-food products such as pressure equipments, machinery, ATEX products, low volt products, insofar as there are no specific provisions with the same objective in the Union harmonisation legislation.

Checks by Market Surveillance authorities

Market surveillance authorities perform appropriate checks on an adequate scale of products. For market surveillance to be efficient, a risk-based approach has to be followed. Market surveillance authorities do not necessarily check all the possible requirements on, or all properties of, a product. Usually, only some of these requirements and properties are selected for inspection. The first level of control comprises documentary and visual checks, for example regarding the CE marking and its affixing, the availability of the EU declaration of conformity, the information accompanying the product and the correct choice of conformity assessment procedures. 

Checks by Border authorities

Border authorities perform controls on imported products. They should also consider the risk-based approach. However, customs officials usually do not have the technical expertise to decide on compliance with the applicable EU product legislation: for this, they have to refer suspicious cases identified in their controls to the competent market surveillance authorities.

The release for free circulation shall not be deemed to be proof of conformity with Union law (Article 27 of Regulation (EU) 2019/1020), since such a release does not necessarily include a complete check of compliance. Thus, even if released for free circulation, products may later be checked by market surveillance authorities and can be found non-compliant.

Tasks of economic operators

Economic operators have the clear obligation to cooperate with the national market surveillance authorities and to take corrective action where necessary. The PED define manufacturer, the authorised representative, the importer and the distributor as ‘economic operators’.

The importer plays a key role in the market surveillance of pressure equipment imported from a third country. Importers may only place compliant pressure equipment or assemblies on the market.

Compliant pressure equipment or assemblies which present a risk

Where, on completion of the procedure set out in Article 40 (3) and (4), objections are raised against a measure taken by a Member State, or where the Commission considers a national measure to be contrary to Union legislation, the Commission shall without delay enter into consultation with the Member States and the relevant economic operator or operators and shall evaluate the national measure. On the basis of the results of that evaluation, the Commission shall adopt an implementing act determining whether the national measure is justified or not.

Where, having carried out an evaluation under Article 40 (1), a Member State finds that although pressure equipment or an assembly is in compliance with this Directive, it presents a risk to the health or safety of persons, to domestic animals or property, it shall require the relevant economic operator to take all appropriate measures to ensure that the equipment or assembly concerned, when placed on the market, no longer presents that risk, to withdraw the equipment or assembly from the market or to recall it within a reasonable period, commensurate with the nature of the risk, as it may prescribe.

The economic operator shall ensure that corrective action is taken in respect of all the equipment or assemblies concerned that he has made available on the market throughout the Union.

Where economic operators fail to take corrective action, market surveillance authorities should take appropriate and proportionate measures to ensure that unsafe products, or products which otherwise do not conform to applicable requirements set out in Union harmonisation legislation, are kept or taken off the market and unscrupulous or even criminal operators punished.

Formal non-compliance for pressure equipments in acc. to PED:

  1. the CE marking has been affixed in violation of Article 19 of PED (Rules and conditions for affixing the CE marking)
  2. the CE marking has not been affixed;
  3. the identification number of the notified body involved in the production control phase, has been affixed in violation of Article 19 PED or has not been affixed;
  4. the marking and labelling referred to in point 3.3. of Annex I have not been affixed or have been affixed in violation of Article 19 or point 3.3 of Annex I;
  5. the EU declaration of conformity has not been drawn up;
  6. the EU declaration of conformity has not been drawn up correctly;
  7. the technical documentation is either not available or not complete;
  8. the manufacturer’s informations on name plate or name and address of importer is absent, false or incomplete;

Where the non-compliance referred to in point 1 to 8 above persists, the Member State concerned shall take all appropriate measures to restrict or prohibit the equipment or assembly being made available on the market or ensure that it is recalled or withdrawn from the market

Read more:

Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 regulates market surveillance

(PED) Pressure Equipment Directive 2014/68/EU

Import of pressure equipment into the EU market


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