Swedish market surveillance 2014-2016

About 4 500 non-compliant products were detected by Swedish market surveillance authorities during the period 2014-2016. Around 50 full time equivalents worked to ensure that companies and products on the Swedish market complied with the rules. At their disposal, they had a total of approximately 75 million SEK per year. The report that the Government recently sent to the EU Commission covers some 30 sectors.

According to article 18.6 in EU Regulation 765/2008, the member states of the EU are obliged to regularly, at least every fourth year, report and assess the market surveillance performed. The current report comprises of some 30 sectors covered by the scope of the Regulation. Some products, e.g. food and feed, are not covered.

The largest budgets for market surveillance were found in the sectors of medical devices, radio equipment, chemicals, eco-design and eco labelling, electrical equipment, construction products and motor vehicles. The smallest budgets were within the sectors of lifts, cableways, noise from outdoor equipment, measuring instruments and marine equipment. For some sectors, such as fertilisers and textiles, there was no budget at all for market surveillance.

In some areas, e.g. machinery, personal protective equipment, chemicals, ecodesign, recreational craft and marine equipment, market surveillance was allocated increased resources, whereas resources decreased in other areas, e.g. medical devices, pressure equipment, explosive products and gas appliances.

During the period, there was an increase in the control of pyrotechnical articles, hazardous substances in electric and electronical equipment and motor vehicles, while the control was substantially decreasing within the sectors of medical devices, pressure equipment, machinery, gas appliances and biocides.

In some sectors no, or very few, inspections were performed. This is the case for mobile equipment, noise from outdoor equipment, transportable pressure equipment, cableways, explosive goods for civil use, recreational craft, marine equipment, measuring instruments and fertilisers.

Within most sectors, economic operators making non-compliant products available on the market took voluntary measures in order to rectify the non-compliances found by the authorities. The exception was electrical products, where restrictive measures by the authorities were more common. In the chemical area, there were also quite a few restrictive measures by the authorities, but even so, voluntary measures were most common.

There is a well-functioning infrastructure for national cooperation and the exchange of experience and contacts between the Swedish authorities are good. There is, however, room for improvement as regards joint actions. The same applies to cooperation at EU level.

Despite the fact that many authorities stated that cooperation with authorities and companies in other member states has contributed to improved cross border market surveillance, there was in most cases instances of participation in different working groups and committees rather than joint actions. In practice, according to authorities, there are several obstacles to such cooperation, such as lack of resources, difficulties of communication and heavy administrative burdens. There is thus big potential for improvement of cross border cooperation.  To further integrate the European and international work in the national would make the national market surveillance more efficient and vice versa, at least in the long term.

There is also room for improvement as regards cooperation with customs authorities. Few Swedish market surveillance authorities report cooperation with Swedish Customs. The very few checks that were performed in cooperation with customs concerned toys (2-6 products), personal protective equipment (1 product), machines (1-2 products), recreational craft (1 product) and biocides (21 products). Considering the fact that many non-compliant products are imported from third countries, it is of utmost importance that the cooperation between customs and market surveillance authorities is intensified.

Read the report (only in Swedish)