New EU regulation on mutual recognition to improve free movement of goods in the Single Market
A new EU regulation will improve the free movement of goods across the EU Single Market. It will apply in situations where the legislation or administrative provisions of a Member State lay down national requirements for products that are not the subject of harmonisation at EU level. It is estimated that nearly half of all products in the Single Market will be covered by the regulation.
The new regulation will replace the existing regulation on the mutual recognition of goods and it is part of the EU’s ‘goods package’ aiming to improve the functioning of the Single Market. It will apply as of 19 April 2020. Among its aims is to improve legal certainty. Consumers will have access to a wider range of products as goods move more freely within the Single Market.
New regulation will improve administrative rules and procedures
Member States’ authorities must observe the obligations laid down in the regulation when they perform their duties, such as the assessment of goods. Using a voluntary mutual recognition declaration (self-declaration), companies can demonstrate that their products are lawfully marketed in another EU Member State. In addition, companies can use the single market problem-solving network (SOLVIT) to assess whether an authority has applied the principle of mutual recognition appropriately.
The regulation obligations apply to national authorities who apply national legislation or administrative provisions that have not been harmonised at EU level. The regulation applies to administrative decisions that affect market access of goods.
Free movement of goods within the Single Market as basis
The principle of mutual recognition is based on the free movement of goods within the Single Market, unless a decision has been made to restrict or deny market access. If a national authority take an administrative decisions restricting or denying market access, it must notify such measures to the company concerned, the other Member States and the European Commission. Administrative decisions are any administrative steps that are based on a national technical rule and that restrict or deny market access.
The regulation on mutual recognition applies to all types of goods, including agricultural products. Food and construction products are among the most common sectors where the current regulation has been applied. It is possible to apply the regulation even in other sectors and to other goods that can be interpreted as merchandise, such as waste and works of art.
Niina Etelävuori, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 022
Check list for the authorities applying the new regulation
- Form for self-declaration: Provide online an electronic form for mutual recognition declaration (self-declaration) by economic operators, as set out in an annex to the regulation. Economic operators must be able to use the form to make a declaration of lawful marketing of goods in another Member State for the purpose of mutual recognition.
- Assessment of goods: Observe the rules and procedures laid down in the regulation concerning the assessment of goods or the restriction or denial of market access. The assessment of goods must always be carried out on a case-by-case basis.
- Administrative decision: Make certain that an administrative decision restricting or denying market access include all the information required by the regulation, such as the reasons for the decision. In addition, the decision must demonstrate that the measure is appropriate for the purpose of achieving the objective pursued and that the objective cannot be attained by any other less restrictive measure. The decision must include appropriate appeal instructions and make reference to the possibility for economic operators to use the problem-solving mechanism SOLVIT.
- Temporary suspension of market access: Determine the situations where a temporary suspension of market access could be applicable and what procedure should be followed.