Product safety surveillance and systems of notification between surveillance authorities
The objective of market surveillance is to ensure that products meet applicable requirements that ensure a high level of protection of public interest, such as health and safety in general, health and safety in the workplace, consumer protection, environmental protection, and safety. Market surveillance is also important from the point of view of the interests of business operators, as it helps to prevent unfair competition.
The rapid alert system (RAPEX), which is used for non-food products, enables the 31 participating countries (all countries in the European Economic Area) and the European Commission to exchange information on products posing a risk to health and safety and on the measures taken by those countries to eliminate that risk.
Another important system is the Information and Communication System on Market Surveillance (ICSMS), which is a rapid and efficient means of communication for the exchange of information within a short period of time between market surveillance authorities. It facilitates the rapid and effective exchange of information on non-compliant products between surveillance bodies. Such information includes test results, product identification data, photographs, information on business operators, risk assessments, information on accidents and information on the measures taken by surveillance authorities. Avoiding cases where a dangerous product is withdrawn from the market in one country but continues to be sold over a protracted period of time in another is not the sole objective of the system.