For the second year in a row, the Market Surveillance Observatory (MSO) of the Spanish Association for Standardization, UNE, has published its annual market surveillance report in an effort to enhance public-private cooperation in this area and promote compliance with technical standards and regulations. The goal is to raise awareness of the marketing of unsafe products and services, which harm the economy and consumers and create unfair competition.
The 2022 Annual Market Surveillance Report collects data on activities carried out in 2021. It was prepared in collaboration with more than 40 Spanish business organizations, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and various agencies tasked with supervising the market.
In 2021, the competent authorities in the area of market surveillance conducted 86,117 inspections, with irregularities being detected in only 14.5% of cases. The main irregularities involved standardization and sales conditions (56%), followed by other infringements (23%), counterfeiting and poor quality (8.2%), prices (7.9%) and commercial transactions (5.2%).
The Report highlights the unsafe nature of some products purchased outside the EU through the online markets provided by sales platforms or social networks, and that are received directly by consumers. These platforms are not regarded as economic operators; as a result, they are not held accountable for the safety and health of the end users who receive the products.
According to Alfredo Berges, president of the Market Surveillance Observatory and the UNE: "To increase the confidence of Spanish consumers in marketed products and boost the growth of Spain's production fabric, collaboration between government agencies and industry associations, constant consumer training and ongoing adaptation of laws to the market reality are all essential".
This second edition of the report includes new content, such as that relating to the functions and work of the Single Link Office (OEU), the activity of the Alert Network, the role of regional governments in the various areas of market surveillance activity, unfair competition from products that are marketed online and that violate the law, the new Blue Guide, and market surveillance in energy labelling.
The document covers the economic sectors divided into three main areas: products for children, leisure products, industrial household consumer products and industrial products for professional use.
Non-compliant and unsafe products pose a risk to the public and can distort competition with economic operators that sell compliant products in the EU. Because of this, the Market Surveillance Observatory was created in the wake of the new European Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 on Market Surveillance and Compliance of Products, to strengthen public-private cooperation and raise awareness of the importance of complying with standards and regulations.