Industrial social partners in the footwear, tanning and leather sectors demand a broader scope of the upcoming Regulation on Market Surveillance IndustriAll European trade union, the European federation of trade unions in manufacturing value chains and CEC and Cotance, employers’ and industry associations in the sectors of footwear, tanneries and leather, issued a joint declaration on their common demands regarding the draft Regulation on Market Surveillance.
Market Surveillance is the set of control operations performed by public authorities to ensure that industrial products placed on the Internal Market comply with legal requirements regarding user safety, public health, preservation of the environment or security.
In the views of industriAll Europe, CEC and Cotance, Market Surveillance also contributes to a fair competition, and to the preservation of the social and economic interests of law-abiding companies and of their workers. It is a cornerstone of the good functioning of the European Single Market.
As stated by Luc Triangle, General Secretary of industriAll Europe: “Non-compliant products, from local and foreign-based suppliers, deprive law-abiding companies of their legitimate business – and they destroy jobs”. Gustavo González-Quijano, General Secretary of Cotance, added: “Consumers are also cheated: they trust that the product they buy is safe, doesn’t harm the environment and is what it says it is – while the reality is often the opposite”. Carmen Arias, General Secretary of CEC, commented: “In the Impact Assessment done by the Commission, the market share of non-compliant products was in the range of ca. 40%. Does this mean that law-abiding companies lose 40% of their turnover to unfair competitors? This is unacceptable”.
Despite this harm caused to the good functioning of the Internal Market by non-compliant products, the protection of the social and economic interests of law-abiding companies – and of their workers – is so far not considered in the core articles defining the obligations (Art. 10) and the activities of Market Surveillance authorities, and the penalties inflicted to producers of non-compliant products (Art. 61), in the current ver-sion of the draft Regulation.
“We, as representatives of workers and industry, are very concerned if Market Surveillance authorities would only protect the consumer, and not prevent the harm caused to workers and to companies”, said Luc Triangle, adding: “This is why we have proposed a set of very concrete amendments to the draft Regulation”.
As such, IndustriAll European trade union, Cotance and CEC urge the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission to include the protection of the interests of law-abiding companies – and of their workers – in the finalisation of the Regulation on Market Surveillance.