Market Surveillance and the Health and Safety Authority

What Is Market Surveillance?

The term market surveillance is defined as activities carried out and measures taken by public authorities to ensure that products comply with the applicable union harmonisation legislation and do not endanger health, safety or any other aspect of public interest protection. The public authorities who carry out these activities are defined as Market Surveillance Authorities.

Legal Basis for Market Surveillance

National legislation transposing a European Directive/Regulation includes provisions to enable market surveillance to be carried out. In addition, the EU has issued Regulation 765/2008 setting out requirements for market surveillance.  All products placed on the EU Market must comply with the essential health and safety requirements (EHSRs) or the appropriate union harmonisation legislation.

What Is The Role of the Health and Safety Authority and When does the Authority Carry Out Market Surveillance?

The Health and Safety Authority (H.S.A.) is the Market Surveillance Authority for the following product directives:

1DetergentsRegulation (EC) No. 648/2004
2MachineryDirective 2006/42/EC
3REACHRegulation (EC) No. 1907/2006
4CLPRegulation (EC) No. 1272/2008
5Transportable Pressure Equipment Directive (TPED)Directive 2010/35/EU
6Lifts and Safety Components for LiftsDirective 2014/33/EU
7Products for Explosive AtmospheresDirective 2014/34/EU
8PEDDirective 2014/68/EU
9PPERegulation (EU) 2016/425
10Appliances Burning Gaseous FuelsRegulation (EU) 2016/426

The Health and Safety Authority does not check every product on the market but employs efficient and intelligent techniques in order to monitor a wide range of products. This is done by targeted campaigns at national and European Level, referrals from Customs Authorities, investigation of accidents and complaints, and reactive inspections following RAPEX Notifications. The Authority also cooperates and exchanges information with Market Surveillance Authorities in other member states.

What are the Possible Outcomes of Market Surveillance?

Where non-compliance is identified market surveillance action can, depending on the circumstances, lead to:

  • Product recall
  • Prohibition of importation
  • Prohibition of sale
  • Product withdrawal
  • Product destruction
  • Product listing on information sharing networks
  • Inclusion in public information notices
  • Prosecution

What About Products Not Listed Above?

If you are manufacturing, importing or exporting a product and you are not sure what union harmonisation applies, contact the HSA Contact Centre unit on 0818 289 389.