Legislative amendments to reform and harmonise market surveillance in Finland
The Government proposes amendments to certain laws regulating market surveillance in Finland. The amendments will update national market surveillance structures to correspond with the new EU Market Surveillance Regulation. The proposal also aims to harmonise the regulation of market surveillance in Finland. The amendments are set to enter into force during autumn 2021.
Market surveillance ensures that products do not endanger the health or safety of consumers and that they meet the requirements imposed on them. The EU Market Surveillance Regulation applies to surveillance of 70 different EU product regulations, including elevators, cosmetics, fertilisers and toys. In Finland, the Regulation will be implemented in phases in different administrative branches.
The aim of this reform is to create a more modern and clearer operating environment for consumers and businesses. In practice, this means that fewer products not meeting product safety requirements will be sold on the EU internal market. The reform will also improve market surveillance and improve the functioning of the internal market.
Market surveillance Act to apply to new products
In addition to the amendments made to the Act on the Market Surveillance of Certain Products (hereafter, the Act) required by the EU Regulation, the scope of the Act will be extended. The Act already covers several product groups. In future, the Act would also apply to surveillance of following product groups: recreational craft, radio equipment, ship equipment, energy-related products, electrical and electronic equipment containing dangerous substances, chemicals, cosmetic products and tobacco products.
With the extension of the scope the Act, it will apply to the activities of an increasing number of Finnish authorities. Most of the products will continue to be subject to surveillance by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency. The Act would also be applied by Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Finnish Medicines Agency (certain electrical and electronic equipment), National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (tobacco products), and municipalities in their territory (tobacco products). Finnish Customs is the authority responsible for external border control.
The proposal would harmonise the powers and surveillance procedures of the authorities in the product sectors that fall within the scope of the Act. This is expected to benefit all operators.
A new feature is a regulation on sanctions that operators could be subject to for non-compliance with certain obligations laid down in the EU Regulation. This would complement the current sanctions regime in Finland.
New measures to control online sales
Market surveillance in Finland is already on a good level. Above all, the EU Regulation will affect market surveillance of products marketed from non-EU countries and online.
The proposed provisions to the Act would give authorities new powers in the online environment and powers to obtain product samples using a fake identity. New enforcement methods would enhance market surveillance of online sales.
Ministries cooperated to prepare amendments
The Government’s proposal to amend the Act and the product laws that will fall within its scope has been prepared in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Ministry of the Environment.
Pauliina Kanerva, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 060160
Emilia Tiuttu, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047127