Market surveillance aims to ensure safety, health and consumer protection as well as fair competition between companies. Market surveillance means that public authorities inspect that products made available on the market fulfil all legal requirements, including that they are correctly marked and tested. The responsible authority shall take measures against economic operators whose products do not comply with legislation. Corrective measures can include sales ban, withdrawal of products from the market or recall from end users.

Market surveillance is performed as information activities, as planned inspections at the premises of the manufacturer, importer or distributor or as reactions to reported accidents, complaints from the public or warnings issued by public authorities in other countries. Market surveillance does not include pre-market inspection or inspection of products in use.
Considering the speed of product development and the considerable amount of products that are made available on the market, there is no possibility to inspect all products. Market surveillance is therefore normally performed as random inspection after risk assessment.

Requirements on market surveillance are found in a number of legal acts, i.e. EU Regulation 765/2008 on Accreditation and Market Surveillance, the Swedish Regulations on Market Surveillance (2014:1039), the Act (2004:451) on Product Safety, which implements the General Product Safety Directive (2001/95/EC), and sectoral legislation.