What are the rules around Market Surveillance, Safeguarding & Penalties?
In the final blog in this series on the new Type Approval Framework Regulation (EU) No. 2018/858 I am going to cover the rules around market surveillance, safeguarding and penalties as well the new forum for the exchange of information which will be established by the European Commission.
One of the significant changes with the new Regulation is the introduction of provisions for the market surveillance of components and vehicles with responsibilities clearly defined for all parties in the process including manufacturers, operators in the supply chain and the enforcement authorities in the Member States. The objective is to protect consumers and remove environmental and safety risks which may arise as a result of non-compliant products or incorrect type approvals.
Market surveillance authorities need to be established in Member States with clear separation from the activities of the approval authority and with the freedom to be able to perform their activities without hindrance. The operation of market surveillance activities is to be reviewed and assessed by the Member State at least every four years and the results communicated to the Commission.
Targeting of market surveillance needs to be based on robust risk assessment and intelligence but as a minimum, each Member State must test one in every 40,000 new vehicles registered in their market the previous year and in all cases at least five tests shall be conducted. At least 20% of tests shall be emissions related covering all of the original approval tests. If required, market surveillance testing for one Member State can be completed by the equivalent function in another Member State or by the Commission. In fact, the authorities from each Member State are encouraged to work together, cooperating and sharing results to ensure the requirements are satisfied in the most efficient manner and risks or non-compliant approvals are communicated swiftly.
By 1st March each year, each Member State must produce a plan for their surveillance checks for that year and every two years they must produce report on their compliance check findings from the previous 2 years.
Manufacturers or other operators in the process must be prepared to support all market surveillance activities by providing technical information including access to all software and algorithms considered necessary.
The Commission will also perform market surveillance activities across the Union in addition to those completed at Member State level.
Where components or vehicles are identified as a serious risk or a non-compliance either through market surveillance activities or other means a clearer mechanism is in place for the prohibition of sale and initiation of recalls under new safeguarding clauses. The rules and circumstances where Member States or the Commission can initiate recalls or take safeguarding action at either national or Union wide level are described along with the evaluation and communication processes to be followed.
Each Member State must lay down its own rules on penalties for infringements by manufacturers or operators in the process including technical services. The level of fines must be proportionate and dissuasive, and the Commission must be informed of the rules and measures in place in advance. Typical infringements which should be punished through a financial fine mechanism include making false declarations, falsifying test results, withholding data which could lead to recall actions and, non-compliance by Technical Services in relation to their obligations.
Fines can also be issued at Union level, although they cannot be in addition to any penalties imposed by the Member States. Fines by the Commission shall not exceed €30,000 per non-compliant vehicle, system or component.
Throughout the Regulation there are requirements for communication and exchanges of information and data. As a result, the Commission will establish and chair a forum for the Exchange of Information. This group will include type approval authorities and market surveillance authorities from each of the Member States. Meeting regularly, this forum will be a medium for the exchange of information in relation to the application and operation of the new Regulation.
So, that concludes the series on the new Type Approval Framework Regulation (EU) 858/2018. It will be fascinating to see how it impacts on the industry; fingers crossed for a smooth transition.
Castec Consulting Limited an independent Type Approval, Certification and Compliance consultancy.
We provide specialist services, predominantly in the automotive sector, for companies in the UK and globally seeking assistance in a range of areas including; Type Approval and Compliance, Vehicle Technology and Safety Research, plus the interpretation of automotive legislation.