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The regular annual meeting of PROSAFE in Ljubljana

Aleš Cantarutti: “Although market surveillance is a national obligation, concerted  action at an EU level is important.”


Ljubljana, 24 May 2016 – The regular annual meeting of PROSAFE (Product Safety Forum of Europe) members began today in Ljubljana and will continue with the first workshop in the framework of the Joint Market Surveillance Action on Consumer Products (JA2014). PROSAFE is a non-profit professional organisation for market surveillance authorities within the European Economic Area.


Its primary objective is to improve the safety of users of products and services in Europe. The event is being hosted by the Market Inspectorate of the Republic of Slovenia.


Aleš Cantarutti, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, welcomed the participants at the beginning of the meeting and congratulated the PROSAFE representatives on the 25th anniversary of its inception.


"At the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, whose responsibilities include the protection of consumers and implementation of technical legislation, including the Regulation of accreditation and market surveillance, we are aware of the importance of effective surveillance of the regulations defining the technical requirements for non-food products. Although market control is a national obligation, concerted action at an EU level is important. This was also recognised by the Market Inspectorate of the Republic of Slovenia, one of the main competent surveillance authorities for non-food products in Slovenia,” said Aleš Cantarutti.


He emphasised that since it came into being, PROSAFE has contributed to greater cooperation between surveillance authorities responsible for product safety. With the Joint Surveillance Action JA2010, a notable achievement was that an increasing number of surveillance authorities from Member States decided to cooperate in such activity. Thus, the number of participating authorities in recent joint surveillance actions reached 35 institutions from 27 EU Member States.


“Measures in the field of market surveillance are also anticipated in the new single market improvement strategy in which a comprehensive set of measures has been proposed to increase efforts to prevent products that do not comply with EU standards from entering the EU market – including the potential legislative initiative – thus putting emphasis on the importance of reinforcing market surveillance. This is supported by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology,” pointed out the State Secretary as he continued his address.

In particular, he estimated that good cooperation between market surveillance and customs authorities also contributes greatly to the compliance of products entering the market and to creating a level playing field for businesses.


“Sales of products online is among the new challenges faced by surveillance authorities. This is a topic you will also discuss at the meeting. The European Commission has already taken steps towards coordinated surveillance by the preparation of guidelines for surveillance authorities. The use of these guidelines can also be tested through the implementation of joint surveillance actions. In this way, best surveillance practices can be established and their use can be promoted,” concluded Aleš Cantarutti and he expressed his conviction that the role of PROSAFE in providing the platform for cooperation between surveillance authorities will continue and will even be strengthened in the future.


Chief Market Inspector Andrejka Grlić said that the Market Inspectorate of the Republic of Slovenia (MIRS) has been participating in PROSAFE projects for 10 years, since 2006. The MIRS had taken the lead in a project three times. She listed the projects in which the MIRS has participated so far: EMARS I, the safety of props and playgrounds, the safety of cigarette lighters (childproof lighters and unusual lighters), the safety of lighting chains, illuminants, cycling helmets, the safety of ladders, the safety of electric chargers, the safety of CO detectors and the safety of electric equipment.


The MIRS also participated in the CIMS project aimed at identifying best practice within individual market surveillance authorities. Individual Member States participate in the project; the final rating of an inspected authority’s operation is given after an inspection of an individual authority is carried out. The MIRS was given an excellent rating in this project.

“So far, the Health Inspectorate and the Internal Affairs Inspectorate of the Republic of Slovenia have also participated in PROSAFE projects. In the future, the MIRS intends to participate in the forthcoming PROSAFE projects, thus complementing its own experiences with the experiences of other European Union market surveillance authorities” continued Andrejka Grlić.


The Executive Director of PROSAFE Nicolaas Olie pointed out the importance of cooperation in surveillance across the single EU market. Member States are increasingly aware of this and are increasing their activities in this respect, while PROSAFE provides relevant services to national organisations in order to increase their surveillance efficiency. He said that the European Commission supports these activities.  Notably, it has shown its support by providing funding to PROSAFE of over EUR 21 million over the past decade. According to his estimates, cooperation has been increasing and becoming more and more effective over the years. Nicolaas Olie commended the exceptional engagement of the MIRS in PROSAFE activities.