Last week, this blogpost of the good folks at European Law Blog was brought to our attention. In a well written article, Megi Medzmariashvili informs us about an interesting case that will be brought to the European Court of Justice soon. This ‘James Elliot Construction case’ concerns the interpretation of the practice of ‘attaching’ harmonised standards to European directives and regulations. This practice is a specific feature of the CE marking directives and the EU’s regulatory approach called the New Legislative Framework. If the European Court of Justice will follow the opinion of the Attorney General in this case, this could lead to end of one of the corner stones of the CE marking system: the referring to standards developed by private standardisation bodies. It also potentially endangers the European standardisation’s financial model and it could bring an end to the protection of harmonised standard’s copyrights. We’ll be following the developments in this case with great interest! We thank European Law Blog and Megi Medzmariashvili for allowing us to repost their blog post here:
Often when you buy products or components to be used in your products, they bear the CE marking and the supplier indicates that they are in compliance with European directives and standards. For your company it can be important to receive CE compliant products or components, because you may bear the end responsibility for these products. Perhaps because your company resells these products in the European market under its own brand name. Or perhaps because your company incorporates the product/component in its own product.
The responsibility for product compliance with CE marking requirements lies with the manufacturer. However, when the manufacturer is located outside of the European Union, and did not comply with the requirements and procedures, the importer can be held accountable. In the new rules that have been introduced in 2008, the importer has the obligation to “ensure” the product compliance. This means that the importer must have the knowledge about the applicable rules and procedures. It also means that the importer must actively check the documentation, as well as the product. Importers that place on the market non-compliant products may be prosecuted. What can importers do to comply with their legal obligation to check product conformity? What means does the importer have to detect possible non-compliance? Join our FREE Webinar, CE Marking: How You Can Check If Suppliers’ Products Comply on the 13th of March 2014 at 16:00 (GMT+01).