Brussels, 21 November 2018 - CECIP, the European weighing industry association, called for strengthening of the EU single market during a breakfast organised in the European Parliament that was hosted by Czech MEP Dita Charanzová (ALDE).
MEP Dita Charanzová also opened the breakfast. She supported a strong EU market saying:” The EU single market is important for all sectors. A common market must support the four freedoms, including for services. But as with all legislation, the devil is in the details, and the devil is how we interpret rules and regulations. We need the Commission to ensure existing harmonised standards are respected by national authorities and that the principle of mutual recognition is further extended to services. This means greater market surveillance and renewed offers to reduce national barriers by the Commission.”
Various aspects of a further strengthening of the EU single market for goods and services were discussed during the breakfast. One important area for CECIP is the harmonisation of reverification requirements. Periodic reverifications of weighing instruments and reverifications after repair are mandatory in most countries to ensure the weighing instruments continue to function accurately and reliably. However, these reverification requirements are set in national legislation and differ between countries. This creates barriers to trade and an increased administrative burden for companies, particularly for SMEs. Additionally, reverification requirements are not always state of the art and updates could enhance consumer protection. During the breakfast CECIP President Urs Widmer explained: “CECIP believes the EU single market is one of the strengths of the European weighing industry. With new initiatives such as a harmonisation of the reverification requirements the competitiveness of the European industry and consumer protection can be improved.Member States and the European Commission are encouraged to work on a further harmonisation of these reverification requirements.”
Mr Stefano Soro, Head of the Biotechnology and Food Supply Chain Unit of European Commission´s DG GROW, responded stressing the importance of legal metrology and the European Single Market stating: “Legal metrology is an important aspect of European legislation as it is vital to protect consumers and businesses buying weighed products. Having this legislation harmonised at EU level ensures a high level of protection while providing opportunities for manufacturers to benefit from the EU single market.”
Furthermore, the important point of improved market surveillance was raised during the breakfast. CECIP members consider the placing on the market of non-compliant products as one of the main threats for the European weighing industry. “Uncompliant products have a negative impact on the competitiveness of the European weighing industry and can cause job losses. Market surveillance should be improved to limit this negative impact. The industry is always available to support market surveillance authorities to contribute to better market surveillance where possible,” CECIP Business & Trade Group President Richard Herbert.
John Derksen from Agentschap Telecom, the organisation responsible for market surveillance in the Netherlands, responded to these points in the next speech. Moreover he explained the situation with respect to market surveillance in the Netherlands.
Another aspect presented was the need for consistent interpretations of legislation across the whole of the EU. For the weighing industry it is important that the EU legislation is interpreted in a similar manner in all Member States. Different interpretations require manufacturers to make design changes to weighing instruments for one specific market. This increases costs and results in unfair competition. CECIP calls on Member States to coordinate via organisations such as WELMEC (Organisation on European Cooperation in Legal Metrology Cooperation) and NoBoMet (European platform of Notified Bodies working in legal Metrology) to enable clear and fast decisions to be arrived at where differences in interpretations exist.
Overall, the European weighing industry stressed during the breakfast that strengthening the EU single market via various initiatives will have significant positive effects on competitiveness and consumer protection. CECIP hopes these initiatives can be supported by the European Commission, European Parliament and Member States.