CEOC International 2009 opening conference on European Accreditation and Market Surveillance -
Analysing the impact and consequences of the implementation of the New Legislative Framework for inspection and certification companies in Europe
“Minimize risks … maximize safety” was the guiding theme of CEOC’s latest conference to which the confederation had invited representatives of the inspection and certification sector, the European institutions and European and international organizations to the Residence Palace/ International Press Centre in the capital of Europe. Accreditation and market surveillance, the key topics covered by the New Legislative Framework for Goods which came to its final adoption last summer and is now on its way towards implementation, were highlighted by guest speakers coming from the European Commission, EA (European Co-operation for Accreditation), CEN ( European Committee for Standardization) and Orgalime (European Engineering Industries Association).
Ghyslaine GUISOLPHE, Director at DG Enterprise and Industry, Directorate C, said in her speech: “the NLF gives economic operators a clear and consistent legal framework whilst guaranteeing a proper level of safety (…) it enhances confidence and quality of conformity assessments of products through clear requirements for notification of conformity assessment bodies including the increased use of accreditation”. She concluded by saying that “third party testing plays a central role in safety matters. The contribution of conformity assessment bodies is therefore essential for a successful implementation of the NLF.”
Graham TALBOT, Vice President of EA outlined, a.o., the future challenges for EU. In this connection he mentioned the importance of having a consistent approach for the assessment of Notified Bodies.
Further challenges would include enhancements to the peer evaluation process; harmonisation of accreditation practices for the regulated sector; revision of cross-frontier accreditation policy; the way how to deal with multi-site conformity assessment bodies; transparent independence of peer evaluation decisions; stakeholder members; establishment of technical networks; best practice for communications with National Authorities.
The role of standardization in improving safety in Europe was explained by Hoang LIAUW from CEN (European Committee for Standardization). He made clear that standards represent the basis of a safe Europe and that CEOC plays an important role in the standards-setting process: “The members of CEOC International are indispensable for the drafting and revision of the EN ISO/IEC 17000 series of standards in support of the New Legal Framework”.
Orgalime Secretary General Adrian HARRIS summed up: “If we want products, which are safe for our consumers and safe for or workers, there is only one answer: any product that is on our markets must respect our laws – all of them: health and safety, environmental, energy, etc... And for this to happen you need effective market surveillance, at the entry in to the EU and in the different countries. This is what we expect.”
CEOC International President Dr. Hugo EBERHARDT made clear that, looking back on a long and worldwide experience in the field of safety, the confederation of inspection and certification organisations will support the implementation of the NLF and cooperate closely with its counterparts in the accreditation and market surveillance area in order to optimize safety in all fields of modern society. CEOC International reiterates that the “Safety first” approach should prevail when it comes to consumer goods, for example, and that the new legal instruments set up a good frame for putting into practice this approach.
Founded in 1961, CEOC International is involved through its members in numerous aspects of the modern society ranging from toys, machinery, electro-technical products and medical devices to construction products, transport systems and power plants.
The NLF has been adopted in summer 2008 and will apply as of 1 January 2010. It comprises the following legal instruments: Regulation (EC) 765/2008 which sets out requirements for accreditation and market surveillance; Decision 768/2008/EC on a common framework for the marketing of products and Regulation (EC) 764/2008 on procedures relating to national technical rules.
For more information please contact Astrid Grunert, EU Affairs Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org