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standards and legislation

UNE underlines the importance of complying with standards and legislation to avoid economic damage and harming the consumer

14/06/2021

  • La Asociación Española de Normalización publica el documento Observatorio Vigilancia de Mercado en el que destaca las ventajas del cumplimiento de las normas que proporcionan credibilidad en los mercados, impulsan la actividad industrial y suponen una garantía para los consumidores.
  • The document shows that the use of 100% materials that comply with harmonized European standards would, for example, have a 25% impact on job creation and turnover in the construction sector.

  • To ensure compliance with technical standards and legislation and strengthen public-private partnership, UNE has created the Market Surveillance Observatory; it already includes more than 30 business organizations and the Ministries of Consumer Affairs, Industry, Trade and Tourism, and Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation.
     
  • El informe del OVM abarca todos los sectores económicos, bajo un enfoque horizontal que se complementa con tres sectores desde un foco vertical: productos para la infancia, productos industriales de consumo doméstico y productos industriales de uso profesional.

14 June 2021. The Spanish Association for Standardisation-UNE, has underlined the importance of complying with technical standards and legislation to prevent the marketing of unsafe products and services, which damage the economy, harm consumers and entail unfair competition for companies that do comply with them.

This is one of the main conclusions of the new document published by UNE The Market Surveillance Observatory which underlines the advantages of complying with technical standards; provides credibility in the markets, boosts industrial activity and is a guarantee to consumers.

In the document, UNE highlights various real cases and studies on the impact of conforming (that comply) and non-conforming (that do not comply) product declarations. For example:

  • In the construction sector: the use of 100% materials that comply with harmonized European standards would have a 25% impact on job creation and turnover in the sector. All this would result in major benefits in terms of safety and competitiveness by increasing the reliability and durability of buildings.
  • In the electrotechnical sector: 81% of lighting products tested in 2019 were assessed as having serious and very serious breaches in terms of both electrical safety and electromagnetic compatibility.
     
  • Products for children and entertainment. A study by Toy Industries of Europe shows that, out of almost 200 toys bought from third sellers in four online marketplaces in Europe, 97% did not comply with the EU's strict safety standards and 76% of those tested in the laboratory showed defects that made them dangerous for children.

  • Industrial household consumer products. The EU conducts monitoring studies on compliance with legislation affecting the labelling and control of chemicals in products on the market (REACH EN FORCE 6, 7, 8). Its conclusions found that 2 out of 10 labels and 4 out of 10 Safety Data Sheets present inaccuracies. With regard to imported products, studies show that 1 out of 4 imported products failed to comply.

In the study, UNE warns about economic and labour losses for the economy and society arising from non-compliance with standards and legislation, as well as a loss of competitiveness and the development of a parallel unfair economy.

The Spanish Association for Standardization has launched the the Market Surveillance Observatory (OVM) to ensure compliance with standards and legislation and strengthen public-private partnership between public administrations and companies, within the framework of the new European Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 on Market Surveillance and Compliance of Products. This aims to improve the functioning of the internal market by strengthening market surveillance and helping to increase consumer confidence. A novel aspect of the initiative is the creation of a framework for public-private cooperation between Market Surveillance Authorities and organizations representing economic operators.

The UNE Market Surveillance Observatory already includes more than 30 leading business organizations, members of UNE and the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation.

The Spanish standardisation body is itself a successful example of a public-private partnership, made up of 140 relevant national sector associations, many of the country's elite companies and various governments and local authorities. UNE comprises over 500 members representing practically the whole of Spain's industrial network.

The UNE Observatory, which is aimed at governments and local authorities, distribution (including online platforms) and consumers, seeks to bring together the interests of all parties under a joint framework and to become an ideal platform for dialogue, debate and agreements.

The Observatory aims to address the development of reference documents that serve as a basis for these actions to meet the necessary requirements of objectivity, independence and impartiality.

The Market Surveillance covers all economic sectors, with a horizontal approach that applies to all products and covers general aspects such as e-commerce and environmental aspects, and three sectors with a vertical focus:

  • Products for children. Its scope covers products aimed at children (toys, fashion, childcare, school materials, accessories, leisure and sport).
  • Industrial household consumer products. These are other products that can be purchased by consumers for non-professional use (textiles, detergents, paints, inks, cosmetics, furniture, etc.).
     
  • Industrial products for professional use. It covers electrical and construction products (electrical, lighting, electrotechnical and general building materials).