Guaranteeing compliance with EU rules leads to regulatory equilibrium in the EU Single Market. Consequently, loopholes in these rules, such as the lack of post market surveillance, undermine the competitiveness of those economic operators who do comply with the rules.
"The European Commission has identified the re-launch of the Single Market as one of the strategic initiatives in its work programme for 2010, and the wider implementation of the market surveillance principles of the New Legislative Framework has been singled out as one of the corner stones on which this re-launch of the Single Market should be based. Within this overall policy context, the Commission envisages reviewing the automotive technical harmonization legislation in this respect. The main objective of this review is to assess whether and to what extent the market surveillance provisions of the New Legislative Framework can be used to address the specific market failures that may be encountered in the automotive sector... Problems encountered with automotive products placed on the market, such as the problems of non-compliance identified in the tyre and motorcycle sector, demonstrate that there is scope for enhancing the implementation and enforcement of the legislative framework for the free movement of automotive products by focusing on market surveillance" [CARS21 Interim Report, December 2, 2011].
In its October 2010 meeting, the ETRMA Board of Directors named proper market surveillance as one priority area. ETRMA launched two PAH-rich oil test campaigns, which have shown that about ten percent of imported tyres do not abide by EU rules. It is not possible to tell by looking at a tyre if it conforms to the regulations so consumers are unwittingly buying illegal products on EU markets.
ETRMA is of the strong opinion that no consumer should unknowingly be confronted with the possibility of buying illegal tyres. This is a matter of the proper working of the Single Market, of consumer safety and of the competitiveness of the European industry. It is the responsibility of the EU and its Member States to protect their citizens by assuring that only legal products can be found on the market.
"Europe is the most highly regulated area for tyre production and marketing but our global competitors are well aware that there is no market surveillance to enforce our strict rules. This undermines equality in regulatory enforcement and at worst leads to a competitive disadvantage for European producers."
ETRMA Secretary General