Market surveillance to be reformed and harmonised
Extensive legislative amendments related to market surveillance will enter into force in April. The amendments will modernise market surveillance to correspond to the changes in the operating environment of companies, such as more complex supply chains and online sales. The reform will update market surveillance to comply with the EU Market Surveillance Regulation.
On 31 March 2022, the Government proposed that the amendments to market surveillance legislation included in the parliamentary reply be approved. The President of the Republic will approve the acts on 1 April 2022. This is an extensive cross-administrative legislative package that will reform the laws regulating market surveillance in Finland. Existing national market surveillance structures will be updated to comply with the EU Market Surveillance Regulation.
Market surveillance is aimed at ensuring that products do not endanger the health and safety of consumers, environmental protection, occupational health and safety or public safety, and that they meet the requirements set for them. The aim of the reforms now approved is to harmonise the regulation of market surveillance in Finland and to create a clearer operating environment for companies and consumers. Especially the market surveillance of online sales will become easier with the reform. In addition, it will be possible to impose sanctions for neglecting certain obligations laid down in the Market Surveillance Regulation.
The acts will enter into force on 11 April 2022. The application of the EU Market Surveillance Regulation began in July 2021. Originally, the legislative amendments were due to enter into force in autumn 2021, but the entry into force of the acts was postponed until the spring.
Market Surveillance Act affects activities of several authorities
The Act on the Market Surveillance of Certain Products (Market Surveillance Act) is horizontal and already covers several different product groups. Now the scope of the Act will be further extended. This means that products previously not covered by the Act will in future be covered by it. Such products include chemicals, cosmetic products, recreational craft, and electrical and electronic equipment containing dangerous substances.
In the legislative package on market surveillance, amendments are proposed to the legislation of the administrative branches of the following ministries in addition to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment: Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Ministry of Transport and Communications and Ministry of the Environment. The enforcement of the EU Regulation has been implemented stage by stage in the different ministries. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has coordinated the enforcement of the EU Regulation in close cooperation with the other ministries.
With the extension of its scope, the Market Surveillance Act will also affect the activities of an increasing number of authorities. Most of the products will continue to be subject to supervision by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes). In addition, the Act will be applied by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom), the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK), the Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea), the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira), the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), and municipalities in their territory. Finnish Customs will be the authority responsible for external border control. With the reform, the powers and supervision of the authorities will be harmonised.
Act on the Conformity of Footwear and Textile Products to Relevant Requirements will enter into force at the same time
The new act on the labelling of materials in footwear and on the use of labelling and marking of the fibre composition of textile products will enter into force on 11 April 2022. The reform is part of the enforcement of the EU Market Surveillance Regulation.
Requiring labelling in footwear and textile products is not new, but their market surveillance will in future be harmonised with other product sectors and a penalty fee may be imposed for incorrect or deficient labelling.
Pauliina Kanerva, Senior Government Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 060 160
Emilia Tiuttu, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 127
Sari Alho, Ministerial Adviser (footwear and textile labelling), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 9007