Cross-border trade when different requirements apply to products in the Member States
In the European Union, a new mutual recognition regulation 2019/515 entered into force in 2020. The general principle of mutual recognition requires EU Member States to allow freely on their market a product lawfully marketed in another Member State, even if the requirements imposed on them in the country of destination differ. The principle thus offers businesses the opportunity to enter new European markets without having to change their products. The principle facilitates cross-border trade of Estonian companies to the EU in the case of products whose requirements have been partially harmonized or not harmonized in Europe, such as furniture, fertilizers, some construction products.
The Mutual Recognition Regulation proposes a number of new solutions to help to promote exports in the EU:
The new regulation allows the trader to draw up and forward to the competent authority a voluntary declaration of mutual recognition of the lawful marketing of the goods. The declaration helps businesses to prove that the goods are legally marketed in another Member State. At the same time, it assists the competent authorities supervising the technical requirements of the products in assessing the goods. The competent authority of the Member State of destination must inform the trader if it intends to assess whether the goods in question are lawfully marketed in another Member State. Where an economic operator submits a declaration of mutual recognition to the competent authority of the Member State of destination, the competent authority shall not require any information or evidence other than that required by the Regulation to verify that the goods are lawfully marketed in another Member State.
If an economic operator wishes to challenge a decision taken by a competent authority under the Mutual Recognition Regulation to place a product on the market, he has the possibility to contact the SOLVIT network. Through SOLVIT, EU businesses can solve out-of-court problems that arise when an authority in another Member State does not apply EU internal market law correctly. SOLVIT aims to find solutions within 10 weeks, from the day the SOLVIT center took up problem in the country where the problem arose. If SOLVIT does not solve the problem, the SOLVIT center can ask the European Commission for an opinion under the Mutual Recognition Regulation. In that case, the time limit shall be extended by 45 days.
Businesses have the opportunity to contact the Product Contact Point, which provides information on the application of national technical barriers to products imposed by Member States and the principle of mutual recognition. Product Contact Points respond to inquiries within 15 business days. The contact points do not charge a fee for answering inquiries.
Additional information on mutual recognition, the SOLVIT network, as well as topics related to the CE marking will be available at the information day of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry on March 30 https://www.koda.ee/et/sundmused/edukas-eksport-el-siseturul-vastastikku-tunnustamine -pohimote-and-ce-margis.
Additional information: product contact point https://www.mkm.ee/et/toodete-kontaktpunkt