News from the Malta Business Bureau - Brussels Office

Circular on EU policy and legislation

01/2019

As the Malta Chamber’s policy arm in Brussels, the Malta Business Bureau (MBB) is tasked with looking out for policy changes and developments that will directly affect the day-to-day running of businesses in Malta.

With this aim, the MBB is publishing a circular to provide information on important developments in EU policy and legislation relating to business. This is the first in a series of circulars which will eventually be distributed to all Chamber members.

Single Digital Gateway – adopted September 2018

The Single Digital Gateway will aim to improve and facilitate access to information on all national requirements to make business in a friendly manner, to provide assistance and to facilitate compliance procedures. The Single Digital Gateway was proposed in an effort to resolve some of the greatest issues with the Single Market: differing national rules and requirements on products and services; a lack of information about these rules and requirements; complex administrative procedures to demonstrate compliance with them. The Single Digital Gateway places an obligation on Member States to provide easily understandable and up-to-date information on procedures and problem-solving services on a single portal, for the benefit of citizens and businesses. Work on the development of the portal is ongoing and it should be available later this year. More information shall be provided when the service is publicly available.

Revision of the Mutual Recognition Regulation – adopted February 2019

The regulation was proposed by the European Commission in order to introduce a framework to make operators fully aware of their rights and create more effective remedies at their disposal if they suspect that those rights have not been respected with regards to obtaining mutual recognition for goods.

For instance, a voluntary mutual recognition declaration is introduced to demonstrate that goods are already lawfully marketed in another Member State, that would make it easier for authorities to invoke the mutual recognition principle. In addition, the regulation facilitates the recognition of certificates and test reports from conformity assessment bodies. It also lays down the requirement for Member States to inform of operators of denial, restriction or suspension of market access. The regulation also increases the role of SOLVIT in the process, by giving it the power to refer to the European Commission for input on a particular case, while also enhancing the role of the Product Contact Points.

Compliance and Enforcement / Market Surveillance regulation – adopted April 2019

The compliance and enforcement regulation will ensure that market surveillance is carried out effectively, while enhancing cooperation between competent authorities so as to maintain fair competition by ensuring that non-compliant traders are detected.

The regulation obliges traders to designate a ‘responsible person’ within the EU for products coming from third countries. The regulation also extends the scope of Product Contact points to harmonized products in order to allow for the provision of more integrated information to economic operators. In addition, there will now be the possibility for enhanced cooperation between market surveillance authorities and traders.

The proposal makes clear that market surveillance authorities can charge administrative fees to the economic operator in case of non-compliance. It is key that paying fees by companies for market surveillance only applies to non-compliant cases, not for those products that are investigated but turn out to be compliant.

The proposal also obliges market surveillance authorities to inform border authorities about categories of high-risk products. The customs authorities would notify market surveillance authorities of suspended products, after which the surveillance authorities can step in. These surveillance authorities would then inform customs authorities not to release products if they present a serious risk or if they do not comply with harmonisation legislation.

For questions or more detailed information on any topic please contact EU Affairs Manager Daniel Debono and Senior Advisor Mark Seychell from the Malta Business Bureau’s Brussels Representative Office on infobrussels@mbb.org.mt