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New EU Regulation aimed at tackling freeriders

New EU Regulation aimed at tackling freeriders
by Ellen Thornton at 13:34 in Battery, Emerging, WEEE, Packaging

​On 20 June, the Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 of the European Parliament and of the Council on market surveillance and compliance of products, was published. The new legislation prohibits products from being placed on the market in the EU unless the producer has an economic operator established in the EU. The aim of the Regulation is to prevent free riders from selling into the EU from a third country, without complying with the relevant obligations in the Member States they sell to.


The Regulation will apply to a wide range of legislation covering EEE, batteries and accumulators, hazardous substances, RoHS, REACH and Directives on WEEE and packaging of electrical appliances. The Regulation will become effective on 16 July, 2021, and will obligate companies without a manufacturer established in the EU. Such companies must have an ‘Economic Operator' in the EU, which is defined as the natural or legal person who is subject to obligations regarding the manufacture of products, making them available on the market or ensuring compliance with the relevant Union harmonisation legislation.

Producers must ensure that information about a product's economic operator, including their name, registered trade name or trademark and contact details must be indicated either directly on the product or on its packaging or accompanying document. The economic operators are required to ensure all compliance documentation, etc. is readily available for the authorities, among other tasks to ensure compliance with the market surveillance authorities.

Member States must designate an authority or multiple authorities responsible for the control of products placed on the market. These authorities must suspend the release of a product for free circulation if certain conditions apply, including if it is not accompanied by the correct documentation. National strategies to promote a consistent, comprehensive and integrated approach to market surveillance authorities and the enforcement of EU legislation within the Member State must be drawn up at least every 4 years. The first market surveillance strategies must be drawn up by 16 July, 2022.

If you have any questions regarding the Regulation, please contact us to speak to one of our consultants. If you're interested in reading more articles and blogs like this one, sign up to receive our free monthly digest. ​​​

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