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EU Compliance and Enforcement Regulation aimed at e-commerce sales

EU Compliance and Enforcement Regulation aimed at e-commerce sales

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by Harry Wild, April 2019
Harry Wild is a Consultant in thinkstep's Recycling Compliance practice and graduated from the University of Nottingham with an MSc (Hons) in Chemistry.
A new Compliance and Enforcement Regulation has been endorsed in a European Parliament plenary session on 16 April and is due to undergo rapid adoption into law. 

Similar to WEEE, where the focus on distance sellers, particularly for e-commerce sales is now increasing, this new EU regulation specifically addresses compliance to RoHS for e-commerce sales.

“Large numbers of unsafe products are being sold in Europe every day” 

Aidan Turnbull, Director of the industry-led substances declarations web database BOMcheck, presented at Chemical Watch’s Global Business Summit in Brussels on  28 March about how the regulation will enhance the enforcement of RoHS substance restrictions.

This regulation is part of the so-called “Goods Package” and is being introduced in response to a 2017 Communication Paper that found a number of failings in the existing regulatory enforcement regime. Between 2011 and 2017, there were about 2,500 incidents where illegal products had to be withdrawn from the market.

The Communication Paper noted that "Relying solely on national enforcement is insufficient. Business are more often than not based in a different place from the market surveillance authority that detects the problem." 

Under the new regulation, a Product Compliance Network will be established to coordinate compliance across Europe. Some of the changes being introduced as part of the new EU Product Compliance Network, in chapter 8 of the regulation, include : 

  • mandatory participation in the network by all Member States; 
  • coordination of joint enforcement activities across Member States; 
  • provision of resources and training to assist Member States; and
  • joint procurement of testing facilities 

All manufacturers will be required to appoint an economic operator 

 Article 4 of the new regulation will specifically affect e-commerce sales by making it mandatory for all Manufacturers who sell products into the EU to have an appointed EU representative that can be contacted by enforcement authorities as needed for the RoHS Directive and other selected regulations. This specifically includes instances where the seller is located outside of the EU and is dispatching products either directly to end-users or via fulfilment centres. The appointed representative, identified as an “economic operator”, must be located within the EU and be able to provide compliance information upon request.

To keep up to date with new substance restrictions across the world, visit BOMcheck, a centralised web database that saves time and cost for suppliers making compliance declarations.